Bendo talks Frankie Edgar and growing from Pettis loss

A recent guest on HeavyMMA’s Fight Day, Henderson talked about the matchup with Edgar.

“His last four fights have come against two opponents, so we had to go back a little further,” Henderson said. “He’s changed a lot over that time, and we’ve had to use what we’re given. We’ve definitely looked for weaknesses in those four fights. He doesn’t kick a whole lot and he’s not used to guys kicking at him. We definitely have to take a look and see where his weaknesses are, and if it happens to be the kicking then I’ll exploit that for sure.

“I think I’ll have a little bit of a size advantage. But I’ve never rolled with him or wrestled against him, so I don’t know how strong he is. But I’ll use every advantage I have, be it size, strength, speed or quickness. If he’s slacking on his submission or grappling game, I’ll try to take advantage of that also.”

Their bout will be the main event for UFC 144, which will take place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. While this will be the UFC’s long-awaited return to the “Land of the Rising Sun,” the sport has a tremendous foundation in the Japanese culture.

“I’ve always responded to the criticism that the WEC lightweights couldn’t hang in the UFC with, ‘Let’s find out – let’s see,'” Henderson said. “I would say, ‘Who knows? Maybe I’ll get beat up when I go to the UFC. I doubt it, but who knows?’ I wanted to find out, and we have. I’m getting a title shot.

“If you look at my last loss against Anthony Pettis, I stood up with a championship-level kickboxer. I could have gone the Clay Guida route, but I chose to stand with him and forced myself to grow. It was a nail-biter of a fight, close going into the fifth round – but I lost. My hat goes off to Anthony Pettis. I use that fight to drive me forward the same way (Georges St-Pierre) used his loss to Matt Serra for motivation. It has only made me a better fighter.

“I think it has shown since the Pettis fight that I’ve gotten better as an MMA fighter. You might lose one or two fights, but you have to go outside of your comfort zone to really grow. I think we’ve seen a progression in my MMA skills because I try different things.”

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