brandon-thatchUFC Fight Night 60: Thatch vs. Henderson Date: February 14, 2015 Location: Broomfield, Colorado Venue: 1stBank Center Broadcast: FS1 UFC Welterweight Contender Brandon Thatch Brandon Thatch (11-1) was rising through the UFC welterweight ranks with huge wins over Justin Edwards and Paulo Thiago in 2013, but he was forced to take all of 2014 off to deal with nagging injuries. The 29-year-old American is an extremely dangerous fighter both standing and on the mat and all of his wins have come by stoppage. He has shown incredible muay Thai skills and not surprisingly has seven knockouts to his credit. However, he also has an underrated ground game and has four submission wins as well. Thatch is riding a 10-fight win streak dating back to 2009 and his lone loss came all the way back in 2008 in Strikeforce. Thatch has the looks and the skills to be a future champ, and with a win over replacement opponent Henderson, will surely be included in the welterweight title talks going forward. UFC Welterweight Contender Benson Henderson The former WEC lightweight champion and the man to dethrone Frankie Edgar from his 155-pound UFC title, Benson “Smooth” Henderson (21-5) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped by his former WEC foe Anthony Pettis at UFC 164. That loss saw Henderson lose his undisputed lightweight title to his arch nemesis, but he’s bounced back since with wins over Rustam Khabilov and Josh Thomson to re-emerge as a top contender. However, he then was knocked out by Rafael dos Anjos and lost a decision to Donald Cerrone and is now moving up to welterweight for the first time in his UFC career. For the most part, Henderson has done nothing but impress in his seven-year MMA career, and it will be interesting to see how his skills transfer to the 170lb weight class. With a solid wrestling base, good striking, and slick submissions, Henderson could make some noise at welterweight, and a win over Thatch in the main event of UFC Fight Night 60 would announce him as an immediate title contender in the division. Opening Fight Night 60 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Thatch a -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) while Henderson opened as a -110 underdog (bet $110 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbook, which makes this almost an exact pick ’em. This is a really interesting fight, to say the least. Henderson just fought a few weeks ago, losing a close decision to Donald Cerrone, and it was reason enough for him to move up to 170lbs for the first time in his UFC career. But he’s facing a very tough test in his first 170lb assignment in the form of Thatch, who could be a future title contender. With Thatch’s power, he can knock out anyone in the world and if he can land his kicks and punches on Henderson he can surely take him out. But if Henderson can survive Thatch’s early onslaught and take this fight into the deeper waters, he could possibly come away with the upset. It’s a really good fight and it will answer a lot of questions about both fighters, but with a full training camp, homefield advantage, and being the bigger fighter, Thatch is deserving of his slight favorite status.


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