The year was 2008 and there was an upcoming 7-1 lightweight named Ben Henderson looking to make it on to the big stage with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 9, U.S. vs. U.K. Unfortunately (or maybe not) Henderson would not be picked for the show and would go on to join WEC and become the promotions champion.
In hindsight the WEC path may have been a better one as the TUF season 9 winner, Ross Pearson has since been dropped down from the UFC lightweight division, while Henderson used his time in the WEC to sharpen his tools. As the WEC fighters made the transition over to the UFC, Henderson’s timing for a UFC title run aligned perfectly with a lightweight title shot this past Saturday. The opportunity was not wasted as the fight ended in a unanimous decision victory for Henderson, as he was crowned the new UFC lightweight champion.