For Benson Henderson, Saturday night's UFC on FOX fight was a battle for respect as much as it was a battle to keep his lightweight title. His two prior wins to capture and retain the belt – both over Frankie Edgar – were razor-thin decision victories. Even though he was the champion, he came into the bout with the tenacious Nate Diaz as a fighter who had something to prove.
Which is exactly what Henderson did in a dominating, five-round, unanimous-decision victory. Again and again, he kept taking Diaz to the ground. He knocked him back with elbows and swelled Diaz's right eye shut. He bounced around the Octagon with as much energy in the final round as he did in the first, and against an opponent who was no slouch and who kept coming at him.
Henderson proved something on Saturday night: He's no longer the guy who barely earned his UFC belt and, if judges had voted otherwise, could be working his way back up. He's the champ. No doubt about it.
"You are the king of arguably the mo...