Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson didn’t want to sit around and wait for a possible title shot after earning a pair of wins over Josh Thomson and Rustam Khabilov already this year.
Instead, “Smooth” stepped inside the Octagon Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 49 against Rafael dos Anjos and lost all that he had built up. For the first time in his career, Henderson was finished via strikes, losing in the first round.
“I’ll have to go back and take a look,” said Henderson, who protested the finish. “I thought I was clear-headed. It is what it is.
“You have to take the ups with the downs, the good with the bad. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Dos Anjos, a heavy underdog, landed a double knee that floored Henderson. He connected on a left as Henderson tried to get upright, sending him back down. A few punches followed and the referee stepped in.
Henderson lost the belt to Anthony Pettis last year via first round submission. This fight was his eighth straight UFC main event.