Benson Henderson believes he will finish Michael Chandler when they rematch at Bellator 244.
The two first fought back at Bellator 165 where it was Chandler who won by split decision to defend his lightweight strap. But, Henderson says he fought with a torn ACL which he says impacted his performance.
“My last fight against Chandler, I fought with a torn ACL,” Henderson told MMA Junkie. “I had a torn ACL, torn MCL, two torn meniscus and I still decided to fight anyways. Probably not the best decision. So for this one, I was like ‘yeah, maybe I should be healthy.’ You’re never like one-hundred percent, you always have nicks and bruises but fighting with a torn ACL, fighting with a broken bone, probably wouldn’t have been a smart thing to do.”
In the rematch Bellator president, Scott Coker has already announced it will be a title eliminator. It will also be only three rounds. So, Benson Henderson not only expects to get his hand raised but he believes he will finish Chandler who he says his chin is gone.
“Chandler, he can get it as many times as he wants to,” Henderson said. “If he wants to fight 10 times, that’s no problem but I’m going to win nine of those 10 times. He got the first one, they gave it to him as a split decision. The next nine, I’ll be putting him away. I’ll be finishing him, looking for submissions, looking for the knockout. His chin’s not the same as it was earlier in his career.
“Earlier in his career, he was known as throwing hard, and having a good chin and this and that. Now he doesn’t throw quite as hard. Now his chin is a little more suspect and he relies on his wrestling a lot more in his later fights and I don’t think he’ll be able to rely on that against me, outwrestling me in our next fight.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime