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Fortunes changed for five at UFC 197

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A big weekend of fights with champion and former championship fighters was largely overshadowed by the daily Conor McGregor story, where two sides tell stories about why a fight that could break all revenue records isn’t taking place for reasons that nobody can make any sense out of.

But there were a lot of interesting themes inside the cage walls, regarding size, ring rust, and fleeting careers.

The surprise of the weekend took place on Friday night at the Bellator show when former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who from a fighter quality standpoint was the biggest free agent signed by the company during the Scott Coker era, debuted . Henderson then looked completely out of his league for five rounds when he challenged company welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov.

From the weigh-ins, the potential problem was staring you right in the face. Henderson looked too small. For all the talk of Henderson being a huge lightweight, that may have been overblown because of his fights with Frankie Edgar, who was such a small lightweight. Henderson moved up to welterweight in the UFC against Brandon Thatch, and that size difference looked even more ridiculous. But perhaps the worst thing for Henderson happened. After some early trouble caused by the size difference, he was able to get Thatch on the ground, where he had a massive skill edge, and finished him.

With Koreschkov (19-1), he couldn’t get it to the ground and couldn’t deal with either the reach or power differential standing. Henderson, just like Kyle Dake at the Olympic wrestling trials, was simply too small for the elite level at his new weight class. The win opened some eyes on Koreshkov, and at first glance ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting