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Dana White, Ben Henderson answer detractors of lightweight champ's style

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Esther Lin

The rap on Benson Henderson's UFC lightweight title reign, such as it is, has been focused on the manner in which he's won his fights.

"If a guy walks into the cage and slips on a banana peel and I get a win, I'll take the win," Henderson said on Thursday.

All three of his title defenses since defeating Frankie Edgar for the belt in Feb. 2012 have come via decision. Two of them -- a rematch with Edgar and a bout against Gilbert Melendez -- were split decisions in which many felt his opponent should have gotten the nod.

But Henderson's boss, UFC president Dana White, see things a little different. True, Henderson's had a propensity to go to the judges. But as Henderson gets ready for his UFC 164 rematch with Anthony Pettis, White points out that Henderson has torn his way through what's long been considered the sport's deepest division.

"He's undefeated in the UFC," White said at Thursday's UFC 164 press conference in Milwaukee. "If you look back, when we talked about the 155 pound division, how talented it is and how stacked it is, and he doesn't have a loss in the UFC at 155."

Indeed, Henderson is 7-0 in the UFC and 12-1 in Zuffa counting his WEC victories. He's only surpassed by UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (13-0) for best crossover Zuffa record.

With a win over Pettis on Saturday, Henderson would have four successful UFC lightweight title defenses, which would surpass B.J. Penn's record. He always would avenge his only Zuffa loss.

"He'll break the record for most title defenses, you know," White said. "He's got wins over Frankie Edgar twice, Cerrone twice, he beat [Jim] Miller, Gilbert Melendez, he's beat everybody."

For his part, Henderson says that he's always looking for an exciting fight, but getting his hand raised is priority No. 1.

"What it all boils down to is getting your hand raised. Whether you do it impressively, emphatically, whether you do it by split decision or whatever the case may be," he said.

I'm always after beating the guy up," Henderson continued. "I always want to beat the guy up. I don't care about judges or decisions or this or that. I just want to go out there and beat the guy up."