Benson Henderson looking to step up into welterweight division

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Benson Henderson is set to put his lightweight career behind for the time being and make a surge through the welterweight division.

According to this tweet from the UFC Tonight, Henderson's time in the lightweight division is almost up and after one more fight, he's set to make the step up.

The former lightweight was making a good claim for another lightweight title shot before he fell to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 49.

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Can he pull it off?

Perhaps the biggest thing that stands against Henderson at the moment in the welterweight is the size difference between himself and the current top stars in the welterweight division.

Current champion, Johny Hendricks and number one contender, Robbie Lawler are huge in comparison and then you have the likes of Tyron Woodley, Hector Lombard and Rory MacDonald as well in the top 10 - size is stacked against him.

While dos Anjos was his first ever KO loss and he boasts great wrestling skills, his ability to stand and fight would be the most questionable part of his offence.

He doesn't have the raw power that a lot of these fighters have, nor the finesse either and while Georges St-Pierre was able to dominate the division with his mat skills, he was a lot bulkier than Henderson.

Why make the move?

The loss to dos Anjos aside, Henderson was always going to have a tough time getting a title shot in the wake of successive losses to current UFC Lightweight champ, Anthony Pettis in his career.

After that loss to Pettis, he beat up on Rustam Khabilov and Josh Thomson and was expected to beat dos Anjos as well but even if he had he was the third or fourth choice for a title shot.

Gilbert Melendez is the next challenger, then Khabib Nurmagomedov looks primed for his title shot after that and then after that you can bring Henderson in for title talk but the likes of Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone and former Bellator champ, Eddie Alvarez are serious contenders as well.

With that considered, it's a smart move for Henderson to move on from lightweight in the mean time. At this point he's in danger of just becoming the lightweight division's Urijah Faber.

Sure it's not a bad place to be but it's not one that is filled with much title success and pay, and he doesn't have the following of Faber either.

It's a good career move in theory but in practise it could be a whole other kettle of fish for Henderson.

Anthony Pettis
Johny Hendricks
Urijah Faber
Benson Henderson

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