After going undefeated in his first three UFC appearances, tearing through serious contenders Clay Guida and Jim Miller, as well as Mark Bocek, "Smooth," was impressive enough to convince matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby to give Henderson his title shot.
Now that he has the belt, Henderson is gearing up for an August rematch with Frankie Edgar, in his first title defense. While media have asked the new champ if he feels irritated by immediately granting a rematch, "Smooth" told reporters he simply wants to face the best fighters in the world, period.
"To be honest, I've said it before, I don't care who they put in front of me. I want to get to Anderson Silva's records. I want to dethrone him from the record books. If he's at 12, 13, or 14 title defenses, I want to have one more above him.
"You have to start with Frankie, the guy they put in front of me. It doesn't matter to me; I couldn't care less who they put in front of me. I'm not one of those guys who has animosity towards other fighters. I want to fight this guy, I want to fight this guy. He has a weird haircut - I want to fight him… Whoever the UFC says is the guy who's next is cool - let's sign it."
By the time Henderson fights Edgar on August 11 at UFC 150, the number to beat could be as high as ten, as Silva looks to extend his record of nine UFC title defenses in a rematch with Chael Sonnen, scheduled for July.
Considering the übercompetitive nature of the UFC's lightweight division, "Smooth's" wish for the best competition will likely be granted, as a long line of stiff competition eagerly awaits the results of Henderson's rematch with Edgar.
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