(January 25th, 2014) For the third year in a row, the UFC took over The United Center in downtown Chicago for the UFC on Fox 10: Henderson vs. Thomson event. And once again, to the dismay of many, the judges seemed to suck the life out of the arena this past Saturday night as they awarded Benson Henderson (20-3) the split decision win over Josh Thomson (20-6, 1NC), as it was very apparent that it should have been Thomson’s hand raised after the five round fight.
Coming in as the underdog in the fight, Thomson was able to take down Henderson early in round one and secure a body triangle looking for the rear naked choke, but was unable to finish it. Henderson threatened with a submission of his own at the end of the first round with a standing arm triangle but Thomson was able break free from it.
It would be more takedowns from Thomson in round two as Henderson would try to pressure Thomson but would not be able to get anything going. In between rounds, rumors were going around media row that Thomson had broken his hand in the second round, and this was later confirmed in the press conference.
Henderson opened up round three with a superman punch to Thomson and would get the better of the stand-up exchanges with him as “The Punk” would continue his takedown game plan but still found himself unable to submit the former lightweight champion.
It was in round four that we saw how un-phased Henderson was of Thomson’s attacks as at one point and towards the end of the round, with Thomson on his back, he stood up and took a moment to fix his hair. Not liking the cheers from the crowd at his expense, Thomson began to raise his hands to the crowd to get them back on his side.
In the fifth and final round, Thomson appeared to be up three rounds to one and so it would seem that Henderson would have to finish Thomson to secure the win. But, alas, as the cliché term goes of never leaving the decision of the fight in the judge’s hands, a shocking split decision win would go to Benson Henderson, leaving Josh Thomson questioning his future in the sport. “I feel like I beat the former lightweight champion with one hand tonight,” said Thomson. “I have no regrets in my career but this might be it.”