Benson Henderson

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Benson Henderson
November 16, 1983 (1983-11-16) (age 40)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Other names Smooth, Bendo
Residence Phoenix, Arizona
Nationality American
Height Template:Height
or {{{height_ft}}} / {{{height_in}}}
or 154
Division Lightweight (155 lb)
Welterweight (170 lb)
or: 70
Style Muay Thai, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo
Fighting out of Glendale, Arizona
Team MMA Lab
Trainer {{{trainer}}}
Rank      Black belt in Taekwondo
     Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
NAIA All American Wrestler
Wrestling {{{wrestling}}}
Years active 2006-present (MMA)
Professional boxing record</th>

Losses {{{box_loss}}}
By knockout {{{box_koloss}}}
Draws {{{box_draw}}}
No contests {{{box_nc}}}
Mixed martial arts record
Total Expression error: Missing operand for +.
Wins 16
By knockout 2
By submission 8
By decision 6

Losses 2
By submission 1
By decision 1

No contests
Benson Henderson
Medal record
Representing Template:USA
Men's Grappling
IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship


Benson Henderson (born November 16, 1983) is an American mixed martial artist. He is currently fighting for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is the current UFC Lightweight Champion. Henderson is known for his aggressive style, his cardio, and his ability to escape from deep submission attempts. As of June 2012, Henderson is ranked as the #1 lightweight fighter in the world by Sherdog.[1]

Early life

Henderson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to a Korean American mother and an African American father.[2] He was raised in Federal Way, Washington. When Henderson was approximately 12 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 Ben and his brother attained black belts in Tae Kwon Do.

He attended Decatur High School from 1998 to 2001. Ben 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. Henderson is a proud Christian, and uses his fighting to share his beliefs. He is known to quote scripture after bouts, and walks into each fight to a gospel song.

"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 Hawaii, 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." [3]

Henderson is currently a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under John Crouch, who is a black belt under Royce Gracie.[4]

Mixed martial arts career

Henderson compiled a 2–1 record as an amateur before turning professional in 2006, winning his first match against Dan Gregary.[5] 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.[6] The bout was also awarded 2009 Fight of the Year for all of MMA by[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Henderson faced Anthony Pettis on December 16, 2010 at WEC 53.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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).[13]

Henderson faced Clay Guida on November 12, 2011 at UFC on Fox 1.[14] He won the fight via unanimous decision after three rounds in a 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 25, 2012 at UFC 144.[15] Henderson defeated Edgar via unanimous decision to become UFC Lightweight Champion. Henderson left relatively unscathed and out-landed Edgar 100 to 81 in striking. Both participants earned Fight of the Night honors for their performance.

A rematch with Edgar is expected to take place on August 11, 2012 at UFC 150.[16]

Personal life

Ben has one older brother, Julius Henderson.[17] He is a Christian.

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur wrestling

Mixed martial arts

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)
    • 2011 Arizona State Championship Brown Belt Openweight Bronze Medalist
    • 2011 Arizona State Championship Brown Belt Middleweight Silver Medalist
    • 2011 Arizona Open Brown Belt Openweight Silver Medalist
    • 2011 Arizona Open Brown Belt Middleweight Gold Medalist
    • 2011 Southwest Classic Brown Belt Openweight Gold Medalist
    • 2011 Southwest Classic Brown Belt Middleweight Gold Medalist
    • 2010 Arizona State Championship Purple Belt Openweight Gold Medalist
    • 2010 Arizona State Championship Purple Belt Middleweight Gold Medalist
    • 2010 Arizona Open Purple Belt Openweight Silver Medalist
    • 2010 Arizona Open Purple Belt Middleweight Gold Medalist

Mixed martial arts record

Template:MMArecordbox Template:MMA record start |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|16–2 |Frankie Edgar |Decision (unanimous) |UFC 144 |Template:Dts |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |Saitama, Japan | Won UFC Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Night. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|15–2 |Clay Guida |Decision (unanimous) |UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos |Template:Dts |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Anaheim, California, United States | UFC Lightweight title eliminator; Fight of the Night. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|14–2 |Jim Miller |Decision (unanimous) |UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle |Template:Dts |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|13–2 |Mark Bocek |Decision (unanimous) |UFC 129 |Template:Dts |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Toronto, Ontario, Canada | |- |Template:No2Loss |align=center|12–2 |Anthony Pettis |Decision (unanimous) |WEC 53 |Template:Dts |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |Glendale, Arizona, United States |Lost WEC Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Night; Fight of the Year. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|12–1 |Donald Cerrone |Submission (guillotine choke) |WEC 48 |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|1:57 |Sacramento, California, United States |Defended WEC Lightweight Championship; Submission of the Night. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|11–1 |Jamie Varner |Submission (guillotine choke) |WEC 46 |Template:Dts |align=center|3 |align=center|2:41 |Sacramento, California, United States |Won and unified WEC Lightweight Championship. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|10–1 |Donald Cerrone |Decision (unanimous) |WEC 43 |Template:Dts |align=center|5 |align=center|5:00 |San Antonio, Texas, United States |Won Interim WEC Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Night. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|9–1 |Shane Roller |TKO (punches) |WEC 40 |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|1:41 |Chicago, Illinois, United States | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|8–1 |Anthony Njokuani |Submission (guillotine choke) |WEC 38 |Template:Dts |align=center|2 |align=center|0:42 |San Diego, California, United States | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|7–1 |Diego Saraiva |Decision (unanimous) |Evolution MMA |Template:Dts |align=center|3 |align=center|5:00 |Phoenix, Arizona, United States | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|6–1 |Ricardo Tirloni |Submission (guillotine choke) | MFC 17 |Template:Dts |align=center|2 |align=center|3:49 |Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|5–1 |Mike Maestas |Submission (rear-naked choke) |MFC 16: Anger Management |Template:Dts |align=center|3 |align=center|4:11 |Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|4–1 |Bryan Corley |Submission (rear-naked choke) |VFC 21: Infamous |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|2:36 |Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|3–1 |David Dagloria |Submission (punches) |UCE: Round 26: Episode 12 |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|1:45 |Ogden, Utah, United States | |- |Template:No2Loss |align=center|2–1 |Rocky Johnson |Technical Submission (anaconda choke) |Battlequest 5: Avalanche |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|0:46 |Vail, Colorado, United States |160 lb catchweight bout. |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|2–0 |Allen Williams |TKO (punches) |VFC 18: Hitmen |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|1:37 |Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States | |- |Template:Yes2Win |align=center|1–0 |Dan Gregary |Submission (punches) |MCF: Genesis |Template:Dts |align=center|1 |align=center|4:21 |North Platte, Nebraska, United States | |- Template:End


  1. "Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". March 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  3. "WEC - World Extreme Cagefighting - Ben Henderson". 
  5. "Ben Henderson "Smooth" Official Mixed Martial Arts Record". 
  7. "Sherdog's Fight of the Year". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  8. WEC 46 live results and play by play
  9. "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber - Live Results and Commentary". 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  11. "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". October 28, 2010. 
  12. "Jim Miller Faces Ben Henderson in a Lightweight Bout at UFC on Versus 5". May 11, 2011. 
  13. "UFC on Versus 5 Play-by-Play: Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson". 2011-08-14. 
  14. "Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson in the works for UFC on FOX 1". 2011-09-06. 
  15. "UFC champ Frankie Edgar faces Ben Henderson at February's UFC Japan event". November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  16. "Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II official for UFC 150 in Denver". May 8, 2012. 
  17. "Northwest Asian Weekly - Smooth Operator". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 

External links

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fr:Ben Henderson ko:벤 헨더슨 it:Benson Henderson ja:ベン・ヘンダーソン pt:Ben Henderson ru:Хендерсон, Бенсон fi:Benson Henderson uk:Бен Хендерсон