For years fans have discussed and debated how a rematch between Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson would go down, particularly since it seemed inevitable that the two would meet again. Of course, since their first meeting in 2010 was ridiculously competitive, and because both men have had tremendous success in the UFC, lots of people are expecting another close and entertaining fight Saturday night.
By the sounds of it, however, renowned striking coach Duke Roufus doesn’t think the rematch is going to be nearly as tight as Henderson-Pettis 1. Roufus recently appeared on “The MMA Hour” to talk about the UFC 164 headliner, and the former kickboxer made some interesting comments as to why he thinks his student Pettis will win.
“Anthony has this guy’s number and I think it’s going to show Saturday night,” Roufus said. “I think Anthony has improved in every area Benson Henderson’s going to attack Anthony.”
“I’ve been watching the fight daily and you can see in the beginning of the fifth round that Antony had his number and I think that’s what bothers Benson the most; not necessarily the kick, but ‘Man, everything I did my best to do against everyone else didn’t work against this guy’. And, at times, Anthony had him in his favorite positions on the mat and Anthony was threatening him on the mat.”
Roufus did say that he believes Henderson is an “incredible fighter”, but also offered this assessment of the champ’s stand-up game.
“He’s actually gotten worse at striking in my humble opinion,” Roufus said. “He’s tried to experiment more. Experimentation, when you make fundamental mistakes, is not good.”
It’s certainly an intriguing fight, and will be fascinating to see if and how quickly Henderson looks to take the fight to the mat, and whether he can keep it there. UFC 164 will be hosted by Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center and the main card will be available via pay-per-view.
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