MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson has held the title for the title for a little over a year, but he is determined to hold on to the belt for a long time.
Indeed, Henderson told Bleacher Report that one of his goals is to break the record of the middleweight king Anderson “The Spider” Silva when it comes to defending the championship.
The 38-year-old Silva has defended his belt a record 10 times since winning it October 2006.
“Anderson is now at the 10 title defenses, so my goal is to get 11,” Henderson said. “If he gets another title defense, then I’ll have to set my goal even higher.”
So far, Henderson has defended the lightweight belt twice – first against former champion Frankie Edgar in August 2012 and then against Nate Diaz in December. He won both fights via decision.
Henderson said he wants to beat Silva’s title defense record as a way of proving that he is the best fighter in the world.
“Those are the goals I set, and reaching that goal is not just about setting the record. Reaching that goal is about confirming I am the best fighter on the planet,” he explained.
“I just want to be the best fighter on the planet. There have been plenty of fighters, who at the time were known as the best fighter on the planet, but they didn’t have a 10-title defense streak, and they didn’t have all the records,” Henderson explained.
“I feel having that streak is my way of cementing the fact that I am the best fighter on the planet. That is my ultimate goal.”
Henderson will have a chance to move closer to his goal when he defends the lightweight belt against Gilbert Melendez on April 20.
“We are going to see who is better that night,” said Henderson, who is expecting a good clash of styles against Melendez. “I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans to watch.”