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UFC: Benson Henderson wins split decision over Thomson at UFC on FOX 10

Decatur High School graduate Benson Henderson beat Josh Thomson in a five-round split decision in the main event at UFC on FOX 10 Saturday night inside Chicago
Decatur High School graduate Benson Henderson beat Josh Thomson in a five-round split decision in the main event at UFC on FOX 10 Saturday night inside Chicago's United Center.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Benson Henderson got right back in the championship mix in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

The 2001 Decatur High School graduate won a somewhat-controversial split decision Saturday night over Josh Thomson in the main event at the UFC on FOX 10 event at Chicago's United Center. Henderson, the former UFC 155-pound champ and current No. 1 contender, moved to 20-3 overall in his mixed-martial arts career and 8-1 in the UFC.

"It was another close win, but I'll take them any way I can get 'em," Henderson said following the fight. I actually thought it was a little bit clearer than a (split decision). I thought I controlled things."

Saturday's win over Thomson was Henderson's first fight since he lost the 155-pound belt to Anthony "Showtime" Pettis on Aug. 31. The loss ended Henderson's seven-fight win streak and his 18-month grasp on the lightweight championship.

Pettis caught Henderson with an arm bar late in the first round and made the former UFC champ submit. It was the second time during their careers that Pettis has beaten Henderson. The two fought in the final event of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) in December 2010, with Pettis winning by unanimous decision to take the WEC belt from Henderson.

Saturday's split decision over Thomson (20-6) wasn't very popular with the fans at the United Center. The verdict was booed loudly by those in the arena. Scores from the three ringside judges were 49-46 and 48-47 for Henderson and 48-47 for Thomson, who may have fought from the second round with a broken hand.

"I think I made three or four mistakes, but I did feel like he did any damage or anything," Henderson said.

Henderson came out aggressively, but that aggression worked against him, as Thomson grabbed hold of him and slammed him to the mat during the first round. The second round, third and fourth rounds were pretty uneventful. Henderson opened the third round with a Superman punch and followed it with a takedown. He also connected on a thumping takedown in the fourth round.

Henderson scored with a good body punch and a solid knee to the midsection in the opening 60 seconds of the fifth and final round. But the fight ended with neither fighter able to land anything.

It's still up in the air if and when Henderson will get a rematch with Pettis. For now, Henderson is going to take some time off and go on a honeymoon with his new wife, Maria Magana. The two were married earlier this month.

"Now, it's time for me to get nice and fat on a beach somewhere and enjoy my honeymoon," Henderson said.

This will be Henderson's fourth appearance on a nationally-televised UFC on FOX event. He beat Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 1, downed Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 5 and beat Melendez at UFC on FOX 7.

Henderson, 30, began his wrestling career during his time at Lakota Middle School and continued wrestling at Decatur, where he graduated in 2001. He went on to wrestle at Dana College in Nebraska and started MMA fighting a year after a dare from a couple of wrestlers.

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