Bendo

Benson Henderson
Born (1983-11-16) November 16, 1983 (age 30)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Other names Smooth, Bendo
Residence Phoenix, Arizona
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
Division Lightweight (155 lb)
Reach 70 in (178 cm)
Stance Southpaw
Fighting out of Glendale, Arizona
Team MMA Lab
Rank Black belt in Taekwondo
Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
NAIA All American Wrestler
Years active 2006-present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 22
Wins 19
By knockout 2
By submission 8
By decision 9
Losses 3
By knockout 0
By submission 2
By decision 1
University Dana College
Notable school(s) Decatur High School
Website http://www.smoothben.com/
Sherdog
last updated on: March 13, 2012
Benson Henderson
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's Grappling
IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Bronze 2011 Long Beach -76 kg (Brown)

Benson Henderson (born November 16, 1983) is an American mixed martial artist who currently competes for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and is a former UFC Lightweight Champion.

Early life

Henderson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to a Korean American mother and an African American father.[1] He was raised in Federal Way, Washington. When Henderson was approximately 16 years old, his mother, Song, insisted that he take Tae Kwon Do lessons with his brother. "She's Korean, I'm half-Korean, and it's the traditional Korean martial art, so she wanted us to do that to get a little bit of the culture and tradition," he says. Both Benson and his brother attained black belts in Tae Kwon Do.

He attended Decatur High School from 1998 to 2001. Benson became a part of the high school's wrestling team. After graduating from high school, he attended Dana College in Blair, Nebraska and graduated in 2006 with a double major in criminal justice and sociology. While attending Dana College, Henderson was on the wrestling team, and was twice named an NAIA All-American.

"I don't drink—I've never had a sip of alcohol. I've never had a puff of a cigarette or weed or anything like that. Growing up in Tacoma, that wasn't a very popular choice. I made a decision, and whenever it came up, I passed the dutchie to the left hand side ... People have seen that. They see I don't do the club scene. By people seeing that, that affects them in a bigger way than me talking about it." [2] Henderson is a devout Christian who gives Christ glory after each of his matches -- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

Mixed martial arts career

Henderson turned professional in 2006, winning his first match against Dan Gregary. He lost his third fight to Rocky Johnson via submission. However, this defeat was a minor setback. He rebounded with four straight wins before facing his toughest fight yet, against a UFC veteran, Diego Saraiva. Henderson came prepared as he dominated Saraiva for three rounds, winning a unanimous decision and his 7th professional win.

World Extreme Cagefighting

Three months later, Henderson made his World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) debut against Anthony Njokuani. Henderson defeated Njokuani with a guillotine choke early in round two. He made his second appearance in the WEC at WEC 40 knocking out contender Shane Roller.

Henderson was given an opportunity to fight for the Interim WEC Lightweight Championship against Donald Cerrone when lightweight champion Jamie Varner was unable to defend his title due to an injury. The fight was the main event for WEC 43 which was held in Texas. Henderson won an exciting back-and-forth fight by unanimous decision. Both Henderson and Cerrone were awarded with an additional purse of $20,000 for fight of the night.[3] The bout was also awarded 2009 Fight of the Year for all of MMA by Sherdog.com[4]

Henderson defeated Jamie Varner with a Guillotine choke to unify the WEC Lightweight Championship at WEC 46 on January 10, 2010. After being outboxed and outwrestled in the first two rounds, Henderson came back and caught Varner in a standing Guillotine choke ending the fight at 2:41 of the third round.[5]

Henderson had his first title defense in a rematch with Donald Cerrone on April 24, 2010 at WEC 48, defeating Cerrone via guillotine choke in the first round.[6]

Henderson faced Anthony Pettis on December 16, 2010 at WEC 53.[7] Henderson lost his title by unanimous decision. The fight won Fight of the Night honors.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

In October 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.[8] Henderson made his UFC debut at UFC 129 on April 30, 2011, defeating Mark Bocek via unanimous decision.

Henderson next faced Jim Miller on August 14, 2011 at UFC on Versus 5.[9] Henderson dominated the streaking Miller throughout the fight, utilizing a stiff jab, great transitions, and vicious ground and pound throughout the match to snap Miller's 7 fight win streak, the third longest in the UFC at the time. Despite being threatened with multiple deep submission attempts, Henderson escaped each attempt and advanced position with increasingly brutal punches and elbows. He earned a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26). It was later confirmed that Miller had come into the fight with health problems.

Henderson faced Clay Guida on November 12, 2011 at UFC on Fox 1.[10] He won the fight via unanimous decision after three rounds in an action packed war that earned both fighters Fight of the Night honors. With the win, he became the #1 contender for the UFC Lightweight title.

Henderson faced Frankie Edgar on February 26, 2012 at UFC 144.[11] Henderson defeated Edgar via unanimous decision to become the new UFC Lightweight Champion. Both participants earned Fight of the Night honors for their performance.

A rematch with Edgar took place on August 11, 2012 at UFC 150.[12] In a bout that was very tightly contested, Henderson defeated Edgar again, this time via split decision.[13]

Henderson beat Nate Diaz on December 8, 2012 at UFC on Fox 5. Henderson punished Diaz with kicks, superior wrestling and ground and pound, Henderson knocked Diaz down twice with punches and got his back on numerous occasions.[14]

Henderson faced the final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion, and promotional newcomer Gilbert Melendez on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7.[15] Henderson won the fight by a closely contested split decision. After 3 consecutive wins to retain the title, Henderson tied BJ Penn with the highest number of title defenses as a lightweight.

Henderson was expected to face TJ Grant on August 31, 2013 at UFC 164.[16] However, Grant was forced out of the bout with an injury, setting up a rematch with Anthony Pettis who defeated Henderson last time they fought via unanimous decision at the final WEC event, WEC 53.[17] Pettis defeated Henderson via submission (armbar) in the first round.

Henderson is looking to return to the octagon in February of 2014.[18]

Personal life

Henderson has one older brother, Julius Henderson.[19] Benson is engaged to Maria Magana.[20]

Henderson proposed to his fiancée in the Octagon after his win over Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7.

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

  • World Extreme Cagefighting
    • WEC Lightweight Championship (One time)
    • One successful title defense
    • Interim WEC Lightweight Championship (One time)
    • Fight of the Night (Two times)
    • Submission of the Night (One time)
  • MMAWeekly.com
    • 2012 Fighter of the Year[23]
  • FightMatrix.com
    • 2012 Fighter of the Year[24]

Submission grappling

  • International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
    • 2011 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship Brown Belt Bronze Medalist
  • Arizona State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
    • AZSBJJF MVP of the Year (2010)
    • Arizona State Championship Brown Belt Middleweight Gold Medalist (Two times)
    • Arizona State Championship Purple Belt Middleweight Gold Medalist (Two times)
    • Arizona State Championship Openweight Gold Medalist (Three times)

Amateur wrestling

Mixed martial arts record

|- |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |align=center|19–3 |Anthony Pettis |Submission (armbar) |UFC 164 |02013-08-31August 31, 2013 |align=center|1 |align=center|4:31 |Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | Lost the UFC Lightweight Championship. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|19–2 |Gilbert Melendez |Decision (split) |UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez |02013-04-20April 20, 2013 |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |San Jose, California, United States | Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|18–2 |Nate Diaz |Decision (unanimous) |UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz |02012-12-08December 8, 2012 |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |Seattle, Washington, United States | Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|17–2 |Frankie Edgar |Decision (split) |UFC 150 |02012-08-11August 11, 2012 |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |Denver, Colorado, United States | Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|16–2 |Frankie Edgar |Decision (unanimous) |UFC 144 |02012-02-26February 26, 2012 |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |Saitama, Saitama, Japan | Won the UFC Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Night. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|15–2 |Clay Guida |Decision (unanimous) |UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos |02011-11-12November 12, 2011 |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Anaheim, California, United States |UFC Lightweight title eliminator; Fight of the Night. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|14–2 |Jim Miller |Decision (unanimous) |UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle |02011-08-14August 14, 2011 |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|13–2 |Mark Bocek |Decision (unanimous) |UFC 129 |02011-04-30April 30, 2011 |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Toronto, Ontario, Canada | |- |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |align=center|12–2 |Anthony Pettis |Decision (unanimous) |WEC 53 |02010-12-16December 16, 2010 |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |Glendale, Arizona, United States |Lost the WEC Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Night; Fight of the Year. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|12–1 |Donald Cerrone |Submission (guillotine choke) |WEC 48 |02010-04-24April 24, 2010 |align=center|1 |align=center|1:57 |Sacramento, California, United States |Defended the WEC Lightweight Championship; Submission of the Night. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|11–1 |Jamie Varner |Submission (guillotine choke) |WEC 46 |02010-01-10January 10, 2010 |align=center|3 |align=center|2:41 |Sacramento, California, United States |Won and Unified the WEC Lightweight Championship. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|10–1 |Donald Cerrone |Decision (unanimous) |WEC 43 |02009-10-10October 10, 2009 |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |San Antonio, Texas, United States |Won the Interim WEC Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|9–1 |Shane Roller |TKO (punches) |WEC 40 |02009-04-05April 5, 2009 |align=center|1 |align=center|1:41 |Chicago, Illinois, United States | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|8–1 |Anthony Njokuani |Submission (guillotine choke) |WEC 38 |02009-01-25January 25, 2009 |align=center|2 |align=center|0:42 |San Diego, California, United States | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|7–1 |Diego Saraiva |Decision (unanimous) |Evolution MMA |02008-10-04October 4, 2008 |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Phoenix, Arizona, United States | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|6–1 |Ricardo Tirloni |Submission (guillotine choke) | MFC 17 |02008-07-25July 25, 2008 |align=center|2 |align=center|3:49 |Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|5–1 |Mike Maestas |Submission (rear-naked choke) |MFC 16: Anger Management |02008-05-09May 9, 2008 |align=center|3 |align=center|4:11 |Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|4–1 |Bryan Corley |Submission (rear-naked choke) |VFC 21: Infamous |02007-12-07December 7, 2007 |align=center|1 |align=center|2:36 |Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|3–1 |David Dagloria |Submission (punches) |UCE: Round 26: Episode 12 |02007-06-23June 23, 2007 |align=center|1 |align=center|1:45 |Ogden, Utah, United States | |- |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |align=center|2–1 |Rocky Johnson |Technical Submission (anaconda choke) |Battlequest 5: Avalanche |02007-03-31March 31, 2007 |align=center|1 |align=center|0:46 |Vail, Colorado, United States |160 lb catchweight bout. |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|2–0 |Allen Williams |TKO (punches) |VFC 18: Hitmen |02007-02-16February 16, 2007 |align=center|1 |align=center|1:37 |Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States | |- |style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |align=center|1–0 |Dan Gregary |Submission (punches) |MCF: Genesis |02006-11-18November 18, 2006 |align=center|1 |align=center|4:21 |North Platte, Nebraska, United States | |- |}

References

External links

  • Official Site
  • Sherdog
  • Official UFC Profile
  • http://www.dethrone.com
  • Ben Henderson Quotes
New title 1st WEC Interim Lightweight Champion
October 10, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Vacant
Won WEC Lightweight Champion
Preceded by
Jamie Varner
6th WEC Lightweight Champion
January 10, 2010 - December 16, 2010
Succeeded by
Anthony Pettis
Preceded by
Frankie Edgar
5th UFC Lightweight Champion
February 26, 2012 – August 31, 2013
Succeeded by
Anthony Pettis
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