Benson Henderson rebounded from the first three-fight losing streak of his career with a split decision win over Islam Mamedov at Bellator 273. The former UFC lightweight champion has competed against some of the best fighters in the world since his professional debut in 2006.
Henderson was also a former WEC lightweight champion before his UFC run, which spanned from 2011-2015. During that time, he became the champion and impressively racked up three successful title defenses.
Competing at the top of one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC meant there was no shortage of big names for Henderson to fight. He also moved up to the welterweight division, creating an even bigger pool of high-profile opponents for him to face.
Following that, Henderson moved over to Bellator, where he challenged unsuccessfully for both the lightweight and welterweight titles. He continued to pick up plenty of wins but then suffered three straight defeats heading into last weekend.
Hopefully, his win on Saturday will see him go on another run, as he is great to watch when he's on his game. He already has quite the legacy and his list of opponents to prove that.
Here are the five biggest names Benson Henderson fought in the UFC:
Honorable mention: Rafael dos Anjos
#5. Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar
Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar had two famous battles inside the octagon, both of which were for the UFC lightweight championship. Both bouts were tightly contested, with each man operating at the top of their game.
The first fight between the pair came at UFC 144 when Henderson earned a unanimous decision victory to snatch the belt from Edgar. The pair then immediately ran it back and this time it was a highly controversial split decision win for Henderson. Many felt the wrong man had his hand raised.
Following that bout, Edgar dropped to the featherweight division, where he fought for gold on three separate occasions. He has now dropped down another weight class to bantamweight, where he is currently ranked No.11 and is on a two-fight skid.
#4. Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis
Benson Henderson fought Anthony Pettis on two occasions, but only one of those bouts came under the UFC banner. Their first fight took place at WEC 53, which Pettis won to claim the lightweight championship.
That fight featured the famous 'Showtime Kick', which is one of the most viral moments in MMA history.
Just over two-and-a-half years later, the pair met once again in a bout for Henderson's UFC lightweight championship. Pettis won via first-round submission and appeared set for super-stardom in the MMA world.
Ultimately, Pettis's run with the belt was somewhat shortlived with only one successful title defense. He then fought for years in the UFC's featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions before signing with the PFL for their 2021 season.
#3. Benson Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone
As with Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson fought Donald Cerrone in his WEC days prior to joining the UFC.
Henderson actually fought 'Cowboy' twice for the WEC lightweight championship, winning both. The first bout went to a decision, whilst the second one saw 'Smooth' secure a first-round submission.
The pair competed almost five years later in the UFC. The bout came during Cerrone's best run in the UFC and just 12 days after his win over Myles Jury. Neither man landed a ton of offense in the bout. Ultimately 'Cowboy' earned a controversial decision victory, likely due to a number of successful takedowns.
Cerrone continued his run to a title fight but was ultimately unsuccessful. Since then, he has competed in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions in the UFC and is now scheduled to face Joe Lauzon at the end of April.
#2. Benson Henderson vs. Jorge Masvidal
Following the loss to 'Cowboy', Benson Henderson moved up to welterweight and later fought Jorge Masvidal in what would prove to be his last fight in the UFC. Masvidal had only returned to the welterweight division himself one fight prior, making this an intriguing bout at 170 pounds.
The duo put on a tightly contested affair that ultimately saw Henderson get his hand raised via split decision. While the fight was close, the majority of media members seemed to feel the correct decision was ultimately reached.
Since then, Masvidal has transformed himself into one of the biggest stars in the UFC, largely due to a monster year in 2019. While he fell short in consecutive title fights after that, he will have a chance to get back on track when he faces Colby Covington in March.
#1. Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
Benson Henderson fought Nate Diaz in 2012 with the UFC lightweight championship on the line. While Diaz has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in the UFC, this fight is the only title shot he has had in the promotion to date.
The bout was somewhat one-sided. While it went the distance, Diaz did not win a single round. Henderson was declared the winner via unanimous decision and one judge even scored the fight 50-43 in his favor.
While this may have been his only title fight thus far, Diaz's popularity soared in the aftermath, particularly during his battles with Conor McGregor.
Both these two legends of the game continue to compete at the highest level and we should appreciate them whilst they are still here.