Benson Henderson has had an interesting career. He was a champion in WEC and UFC and has fought for multiple titles in Bellator.
He was the best lightweight fighter in the world at one point. He beat Frankie Edgar two times for the UFC lightweight title.
He is very knowledgeable on the lightweight division and has some strong opinions on who the lightweight GOAT is. He was asked about the GOAT by Shakiel Mahjouri in an interview for MMA Mania.
“Who cares about my opinion?” he prefaces his take. “But I’m not gonna put Khabib up there for the greatest ever of all time. You can maybe consider him one of the greats for 155, but as far as one of the greatest of all-time in all weight classes, nah. You might have to miss me on that one. That’s saying something. Greatest of all time, I think there are a good 10 or 15 above him. I’m one of those purists who is about longevity as well. Somebody who has been there and competed at the top level. Not somebody who is 35-0 but only has really 10 fights against the top-level guys.
“For me, B.J. Penn is the greatest lightweight of all time. He’s up there for one of the greatest fighters of all weight classes, period. All-time. He did it against the best in the world, at the time they were the best in the world. You can’t complain about he didn’t fight this guy or that guy. At the time that he was fighting, in his heyday, he was fighting the best in the world and he was putting them away. For me, B.J. is up there…”
Benson Henderson has BJ Penn as his GOAT. Penn is also considered one of the great American, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners ever.
When asked about who the best lightweight is currently, Benson Henderson had someone a little different. Not the champion Charles Oliveira.
“No one sticks out head and shoulders above the other,” Henderson says. “I like Poirier. He’s really good, really tough. Good jiu-jitsu, good boxing. He can mix it up with some good Muay Thai as well. I’ll maybe say, Poirier. He’s the first one who comes to mind.”
Benson Henderson is currently set to fight Brent Primus at Bellator 268 on October 16.