UFC on Fox fight card primer: Ben Henderson vs Josh Thomson

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Ben Henderson vs. Josh Thomson live on Fox.

In the main event at UFC on Fox 10: Henderson vs Thomson, former UFC and WEC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson (19-3 MMA; 7-1 UFC) takes on former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson (20-5(1) MMA; 3-1 UFC). This 5 round Lightweight fight caps off the four fight main card. The UFC Rankings have Henderson as the #1 contender at Lightweight and #9 on the Pound for Pound list, with Thomson at #4 in the Lightweight division. UFC on Fox 10: Henderson vs. Thomson airs live from Chicago this Saturday, January 25 with a fight time of 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for the main card.

This is a make-up fight for Thomson, who was originally set to challenge Anthony Pettis for the UFC Lightweight title in his next fight. Unfortunately, a Pettis injury scrapped those plans, and Thomson now has the unenviable position of defending his title contender status against the former champion. This should be a tremendous Lightweight fight, and has the potential to be an early Fight of the Year contender.

How do these two stack up?

Henderson: 30 years old | 5'9" | 70" reach
Thomson: 35 years old | 5'10" | 71" reach

What have these two done recently?

Henderson: L - Anthony Pettis (Sub) | W - Gilbert Melendez (SD) | W - Nate Diaz (UD)
Thomson: W - Nate Diaz (TKO) | L - Gilbert Melendez (SD) | W - K.J. Noons (UD)

How did these two get here?

Benson "Smooth" Henderson, or Bendo if you prefer, fights for the first time here since losing his UFC Lightweight belt in 2013. Prior to that loss to Pettis, he was on a 7 fight win streak and undefeated in the UFC, with an impressive three successful title defenses. Henderson fights with a supreme confidence, mixing strikes and wrestling with terrific submission defense. The question for this fight is: is the Pettis loss a sign that Henderson is slipping, or is Pettis simply this former champion's kryptonite?

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Thomson

Josh "The Punk" Thomson was once considered one of the sport's true elite at 155 pounds. A 13 year veteran, Thomson had a terrific run in Strikeforce that included winning the title there. Injuries have taken their toll on Thomson, as he has struggled to find consistency in recent years. He made his UFC return after a 9 year absence last April, shocking the world with a dominating victory over Nate Diaz. Thomson has been very vocal that this has not been his best training camp - we'll see how that plays out tonight.

Why should you care?

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but I think this one tears the roof down. Should be an incredible fight.

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