Henderson's camp has sights set on Melendez as next opponent
In 2012, Benson Henderson proved that he is the best lightweight in the best MMA promotion in the world. Now in 2013, he will be paid as such.
Henderson announced his new deal with the UFC over the weekend:
"Proud to announce that I just signed my new contract, which will keep me around for at least eight more fight," Henderson wrote. "This deal made me think long-term and what it all means and what I'm here for.
"I hope I can use these few years to really inspire, introduce, encourage and do some of His will."
The signing of a new contract come on the heels of news that the UFC had offered Eddie Alvarez a very generous deal which included a $70,000 to show and an extra $70,000 for a win. The lightweight champion Henderson on the other hand was reported to make only $39,000 to show and $39,000 to win.
So now that a deal is done, what is next for the champion? Henderson's manager Malki Kawa spoke with MMAJunkie about the next opponent:
"We really like the Gilbert Melendez fight, and I'll tell you why: Gilbert Melendez has been ranked either No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 between himself, Frankie Edgar and Benson. Frankie was considered No. 1 in the world, and Benson beat him. Now some people are saying Gilbert might be No. 1 in the world. OK, well Benson would like to beat him, too, and leave no doubt that he is the best 155-pounder in the world.
"Depending on whose poll you look at over the past few years, it's been those guys in the top three spots, and Benson definitely wants to fight the best guys in the world. He's already defeated Frankie. Beating Gilbert would prove that Benson is absolutely the best lightweight in MMA."
Between Gilbert Melendez wanting the fight, Dana White wanting the fight, and now Benson Henderson's camp wanting the fight, it seems highly likely that this fight will happen. And in reality, this is the best fight for everyone involved. While Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone may say otherwise, and with Eddie Alvarez's MMA destination unknown, it's up to Melendez and Henderson to figure out who is truly the undisputed best lightweight in the world. With Strikeforce officially closing it's doors this past weekend and "El Nino" free of his contractual obligations, it will be interesting to see what direction this hypothetical fight heads.
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