SEATTLE -- As the lights raised and the crowd filed out of Seattle's Key Arena, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, fresh off the most impressive performance of his career, stalked towards press row and barked out a message to his critics. "I don't talk," he shouted, referring to the brazen opponent he just battered and bruised for 25 minutes on national television. "It's in here. Do you guys get it?"
If whomever Henderson was addressing didn't get it before, they probably do now. Fighting on the biggest stage of his life, Henderson dismantled Nate Diaz over five rounds with an ease that bordered on surreal, sweeping the judges' scorecards, 50-43, 50-45, 50-45.
For Henderson, whose undefeated UFC record now sits at 6-0, it was the kind of dominant performance he needed after a controversial two-fight series with Frankie Edgar left a bad taste in the collective mouths of fight fans. But those in the building weren't the only ones left impressed, as a swarm of Henderson's fellow fighters rushed to Twitter to sing the praises of his performance.
Well, everybody except for one former rival. The man who may just be next up to bat in the lightweight pecking order had other things on his mind.
Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) December 9, 2012
Man, lightweights are fun to watch!— Nate Marquardt (@NathanMarquardt) December 9, 2012
The way Benson is punishing Diaz... There is a Dutch word for it... It's called "slopen" lol.— Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 9, 2012
Nate just isn't strong enough....ugh— War Machine (@WarMachine170) December 9, 2012
Big balls, hands swinging. #Loveit— Justin Lawrence (@AmericanKiddMMA) December 9, 2012
Nam Phan (@NamPhanMMA) December 9, 2012
Man Henderson's cardio is unreal non stop for 25mins it's just crazy 😳— Brad Pickett (@One_Punch) December 9, 2012
Did Henderson have that toothpick in his mouth that entire fight??— chad mendes (@chadmendes) December 9, 2012
Ben Henderson is one bad mamma jamma#UFConFox— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunsonMMA) December 9, 2012
Ben is whoopin Nates ass. #UFConFOX— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) December 9, 2012
There weren’t any 10-8’s in that fight. #UFConFOX— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) December 9, 2012
Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) December 9, 2012
Benson Henderson dominant over the ever durable Diaz. Wrestling, varied strikes & constant pressure. The strap stays with Bendo. #UFConFox— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) December 9, 2012
Wow @bensonhenderson looked amazing! Congrats man!!— Eddie Wineland(@EddieWineland) December 9, 2012
Great fight #UFCONFOX5 you think these guys are in great shape?? Geez— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) December 9, 2012
Ulysses Gomez (@uselessgomez) December 9, 2012
Henderson too much. Congrats team @dethrone member.— Josh Koscheck (@JoshKoscheck) December 9, 2012
Henderson looked tough tonight but I liked him best in Shalomar— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) December 9, 2012
Punch to the calf? That's pretty awesome! #UFConFox— Jerome-Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) December 9, 2012
Was that a toothpick? @bensonhenderson— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) December 9, 2012
Best fight of the night so far— glover teixeira (@gloverteixeira) December 9, 2012
I want to know about the toothpick!!! What the heck?— Bas Rutten (@BasRuttenMMA) December 9, 2012
Duuuude! Did you guys see that last punch?! Haha. Man. Ben is playing in Nates open guard. What you think will happen?— Michael McDonald (@MaydayMcDonald) December 9, 2012
Fantastic main event! Hella impressed by Henderson. Also love his shoutout to Christ, what a stud!— Pablo Garza UFC (@PabloGarzaMMA) December 9, 2012
Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) December 9, 2012
Kenny florian told a story of rolling with Ben for a few rounds and he pulled out the toothpick after they were done, but in a fight? Crazy— Louis Gaudinot (@LouGaudinotUFC) December 9, 2012
John Maguire (@MaguireTheOne) December 9, 2012