Benson Henderson Didn’t Agree With UFC Fight Night 49 Stoppage, But Accepted It With Dignity

August 25, 2014
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Benson HendersonNo one likes a sore loser. Unfortunately, the world is filled with them. But former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson isn’t one.

Henderson was finished by strikes for the first time in his eight-year professional mixed martial arts career by Rafael dos Anjos during the UFC Fight Night 49 main event in Tulsa on Aug. 23. After being stunned and hit with a flying knee, Henderson tried to work his way back to his feet along the cage after a failed takedown attempt. Dos Anjos met him with a left hand that made the former titleholder’s body go limp and crumble to the canvas.

Dos Anjos followed him to the ground and was in finish-mode when referee “Big” John McCarthy intervened and stopped the fight. After getting to his feet, Henderson was visibly unhappy with the referee’s decision to stop the action.

SEE ALSO: Benson Henderson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos Fight Highlights Video

“I thought I was clear-headed. It is what it is. You have the ups and downs. You have to take the good with the bad,” said Henderson immediately following the upset loss.

Prior to the event’s post-fight press conference, Henderson was able to see the footage of the finish.

“I got to catch a couple of replays before they stopped it, the backroom broadcast,” said the 30-year-old former champion. “It pretty much confirmed everything I said inside the cage.

“It was a flash knockout.  They happen. It was a flash knockout,” said Henderson. “I remember dropping my back to the fence and was like, ‘Damn it. That didn’t look good at all. That’s a bad thing right there.’

“I went to latch onto a single-leg, turn, push him up against the cage, hopefully take a couple of shots to the back of head and let the cobwebs clear a little bit and take some time and start working from there,” he explained.

“As soon as I started to come around and go into the single-leg, Big John did his job.”

Henderson made no excuses. He didn’t ridicule the legendary referee for the split-second decision to stop the fight. He accepted it like a champion does, despite thinking that it was an early stoppage.

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  • KO808

    Sounds like a sore loser to me. From some of the replays I saw his eyes were dazed and it looked as if he was stumbling around trying to look for his glasses at 3 in the morning haha.

    • jordan2412

      really? He’s not sore at all. He asked his opinion and gave it. He didn’t say the decision to stop was wrong.

  • Seth

    There is NO ONE in the world of MMA who honestly can say “Oh, I agree with the stoppage”. If someone says, he’s lying. In this sport is all about W/L record nowdays. You never really agree with decision when you lose – either it’s stoppage or decision. You may admit – Ok, I lost. But you won’t agree with it. Those are two different things. But that’s exact reason that fuels fighters – Ok, f’d up and lost. I won’t agree with it and I will work harder so it won’t happen again. And I believe Bendo will come back stronger 🙂

  • Shred Man

    It was definitely an early stoppage, and I’d be pissed too if I was Henderson. It’s the friggin main event man! U have to let it play out to see what happens, not immediately jump in to stop it the second someone gets rocked. That’s lame!!!

  • Legs Like A Ninja Turtle

    Ben was not defending well on the feet, was sent backward by a punching combo and dazed by the knee to the face. He was then dropped clean. No reason for Big John to believe Bendo’s defense was going to get any better after being knocked senseless.

    Maybe Big John could have given him another second to recover, but Bendo did not have an arm posted, did not have his hips under him, and didn’t seem to be able to make any escape effort without taking more unwarranted damage.

    But I’m pretty sure If I was Henderson I’d feel the same way he does about it.

  • snapdad

    I love how ben jumped up after the fight and started bouncing around like he was ok. he was done

  • brad king

    dang it looks like Bendo is offically now a GATEKEEPER. marriage has distracted him too much!

    • Tots44

      Officially a gatekeeper? I think not. Especially in a division with a champ who is yet to defend the title. Despite the hate he receives for boredom, dude has drive and he’ll be back in the picture in no time.

  • Balls deep

    Remember when Ben said he would defend his belt more times then Anderson? Haha

  • james munsteur

    You better believe that if Herb Dean was reffing, then it would have been different. Just saying.

  • One Punch

    definitely more of a flash KO than a clean knockout. In boxing this would be an 8 count at best. The ref should have let it continue and any follow up ground and pound would have surely concluded if Ben was done. In my opinion Ben is technically the best fighter at LW but is still one L away from being the force that was and ended up on the scap heat with Edgar and Maynard. I think he needs to step down and work his way up and move training camp/gyms. He spends way too much time training others instead of working on his own fight. Every fighter that has ever owned and gym and been an active trainer in UFC has lost the edge. Faber, Munoz, Silver, Nogueira brother etc. Time to be Daniel son and stop being Mr Miyagi

    • Lucas Freire

      You just said it all. I think he’s one of those guys who are a real MMA artist. Great in all areas of the game. Just lacks killer instinct IMO.

  • Publicly stating repeatedly that you disagree with a stoppage is not a dignified acceptance of it.

    • Tony R

      Well, he was probably asked what he thought of it by whoever wrote this story. Lying isn’t Henderson’s style. If he disagrees with it, he’s going to say so.

  • The Milkman

    Might have been an early stoppage but I think he would have got pounded unconscious had it not been stopped in my opinion.

  • Denny Swain

    At least bendo didn’t win another undeserving decision like both edgar fights, thompson the punk

  • Denny Swain

    Bendo likes to jump around alot and feint a lot but really no substance. He basically throws a guy out of rhythm and doesn’t commit himself making a boring fight. Im so glad dos anjos destroyed this guy.

    • Bob

      Just wondering, what do you consider a fighter with substance? A fighter that exchanges blows with his opponent?

    • Dani

      so true. So happy and glad RDA exposed this fraud fake Champion who cant finish a fight because his judges baby

  • uncle

    Benson Smooth Glass Jaw Henderson!

    • Tots44

      Cool name. Must’ve worked on that for a while with a cast of thousands.

      • uncle

        Almost every fight there has been
        Controversy so it was good to see Ben
        get his clock cleaned .

  • fasdfas

    I think the only way for him to get back in the mix is if he beats khabib or has a rematch with with dos anjos in future.

    • Rob Dyer

      With respect I don’t see him beating Khabib. The Eagle is the next champ….

  • George Sperry

    “It was a flash knock out”. <— end of discussion.
    A knock down is different from a KO. When the fighter admits he was KO'ed then the fight was stopped correctly.
    I'm not a big fan of "big John" and I am a fan of Henderson but a KO is a KO.

  • Rick

    It was stopped I thought it was early and could have gone a bit longer I mean look at Franky Edgar but Benson put himself in a position for the referral to stop it and he is showing how a champion should act. Much respect to him and he will bounce back. I hope he gets to fight ol boy again.

  • Ryan Petrie

    He, and you, can say it was an early stoppage, which it probably was. Big John could have (should have?) let it go a few more seconds. But clearly all those few more seconds would have done was give RDA the chance to pop his unguarded face 3 or 4 more times with the right hand. End result the same with less brain damage to Benson, who I love BTW.




      yeah!! i want to see him ko’d again!

  • Austin, TX

    He should accept it with dignity since he was awarded 2 if not 3 bs split decisions in the past. his 1st fight with Edgar was a Christmas present. Edgar won the fight. Ditto 2nd fight. (one was split, one was unanimous. Ditto Melendez and Thompson).