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Benson Henderson names B.J. Penn as the greatest lightweight above Khabib Nurmagomedov - "Look at the records of the 29 people he beat"

Bellator 153: Koreshkov v Henderson (left), UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez v Penn (center), UFC 205: Nurmagomedov v Johnson (right)
Bellator 153: Koreshkov v Henderson (left), UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez v Penn (center), UFC 205: Nurmagomedov v Johnson (right)
Frank Bonada

Benson Henderson has stated that B.J. Penn's body of work puts him above Khabib Nurmagomedov in the 155 lb greatest of all time discussion.

In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Henderson was asked who he thought was the lightweight GOAT. The former UFC 155 lb champ replied:

"That's easy. Hands down, B.J. It's not even close. You don't even got to say his full name, it's just one word - B.J. You know who it is. The greatest lightweight of all time. Without a doubt, hands down B.J. Penn. You can argue but this and that, you can argue about statistics, and who they fought. But B.J. is the man. I've got mad respect for B.J."

However, when asked if he believed Khabib Nurmagomedov deserved to be in the conversation, 'Smooth' said:

"Of those 29-0 Khabib fought, go look at the records of the 29 people he beat. And then go look at the records of the guys B.J. beat. Go look at the records of the guys B.J. lost to... To go 29-0 is amazing, that's a good, big accomplishment. But as far as me, my opinion for what it's worth, I've gotta go B.J. Not even close."

Check out the full interview below:

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Benson Henderson's post-UFC career

Benson Henderson departed the UFC in 2015 off the back of a split-decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. The following year, he signed with Bellator MMA and was immediately booked in a welterweight title fight against Andrey Koreshkov.

Henderson did come up short, dropping a unanimous decision to the Russian. However, he bounced back with a win over Patricio 'Pitbull' Freire, one of Bellator MMA's all-time greats.

Henderson's Bellator career has continued in this fashion. Impressive wins over the likes of Myles Jury and Roger Huerta have kept him at the top of the 155 and 170 lb rankings. Unfortunately for him, losses to Patricky Freire and Michael Chandler have resulted in the title eluding his grasp.

Henderson appeared to be nearing the end of his career after losing three fights in 2020 and 2021. However, a win at the recent Bellator 273 over top Dagestani prospect Islam Mamedov has somewhat revitalized his career. It remains to be seen as to what Benson Henderson's next step will be, as he has hinted that he may be looking at options outside Bellator.


Edited by Aziel Karthak

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