MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson barged into the “super-fight” conversation when he expressed a desire to fight welterweight king Georges St-Pierre (GSP).
In a statement released to MMA Fighting, Henderson stressed that he is focused on his upcoming title defense against Gilbert Melendez, but is also interested in a super-fight against St-Pierre.
“My main focus is on defending my title against Gilbert Melendez on April 20. But I am a fan of the sport on top of being a competitor,” Henderson said.
“I see all this talk about super fights and other fighters getting to dictate what weight classes they want to move up and down in order to get title shots,” he added. “I’m the UFC’s lightweight champion, and I feel I should be allowed to make such statements myself.”
Henderson, who has defended the lightweight belt twice since winning in February 2012, said he would love to fight St-Pierre, “one of the greatest fighters in our sport’s history.”
“Of course I’d love to fight him, and I think the fans would want to see that fight too. It would be an honor to go up against such a great competitor, especially with a title on the line,” he said.
But it looks as though Henderson’s wish will not come true any time soon as UFC president Dana White said a fight against St-Pierre is “not going to happen.”
“He (Henderson) just won that title not too long ago,” White told UFC Tonight, as quoted by MMA Fighting. “There are plenty of guys in the 155 (pound) division to defend that title against.”
White said Henderson may also wind up facing reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo of Brazil, who is contemplating a move to lightweight.
“I don’t blame Ben Henderson for wanting to got to 170,” White said. “That’s the big money fight.”
St-Pierre has long been linked to a super-fight against middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in what has the potential to be the most lucrative fight in UFC history.