If you happen to catch up with UFC 144 fighter Benson Henderson before any of his fights you’re likely to find him in one of only a few places.
He’s probably at his gym, The MMA Lab, working out or teaching classes, but if he’s not there he’s likely at home, relaxing, maybe watching some TV or has his nose buried in a stack of comic books.
After the fight, you aren’t likely to find Henderson at a club partying down and you won’t see him anywhere near alcohol.
When it comes to understanding Benson Henderson, you first have to know that on the surface he’s as unassuming as a comic book character he identifies with a lot. A certain mild-mannered reporter that works at the Daily Planet in Metropolis.
“I’m not Superman. I’m not Spider-Man. I’m the quiet guy. I’m the regular Joe on the bus who everyone doesn’t pay attention to at all,” Henderson answered when asked about the comic book characters he most identifies with.
You see, Henderson is all about one thing and it’s not the money and it’s not the fame. He’s all about being the best fighter on the planet, and he doesn’t have to be the flashiest or most outspoken person to do that.
He just needs to be the best fighter. Period.
“I have no problem, I will say I want to be the best fighter on the planet. If I don’t get there, then guess what, I don’t get there, make fun of me all you want. Go ahead and discredit me or say good luck, better try next time. Say whatever, I’m okay with it,” Henderson said on MMAWeekly Radio.
“I don’t have a problem saying it. I think a lot of times people have a hard time stating their goals, not just fighters, but people in general just stating their goals because what if you do fall short? It happens to a lot of people, whatever sport you choose, or if you’re an actor, or whatever.”
Henderson looks at his goal to be the best in the world as his personal belief that he can get there one day. He’s not there yet, and he’ll be the first one to tell anybody that.
But the first step to accomplishing anything is exactly that. Taking the first step.
“I like to wear my faith on my sleeve. I like to wear my heart on my sleeve as well. The guys who are really good at what they do whether it’s fighting or acting or being a comedian, are the guys who can open up their hearts and let a little bit of who they really are shine through,” Henderson said.
“I’m very determined. I’m not going to let one loss stop me from being the best fighter on the planet. I’m still going to go do that; I’m still going to get that done.”
The next step in his goal to be the best fighter on the planet is facing the world’s best lightweight at UFC 144.
“He’s the champ for a reason,” Henderson said about Frankie Edgar. “He’s considered pound-for-pound top 10, top five, whatever you call it, he’s that way for a reason. He’s proven himself time and time again. For me to discount him or to not take him serious in any way, shape, or form would be a serious folly on my part.
“He’s not ever going to quit; I’m not ever going to quit. He has a great heart; I like to think that I have a great heart. I’m definitely not folding, not going to quit at any time. Same thing can be said for Frankie.”
It’s that certain level of determination that Henderson exudes that he believes can and will carry him to a win on Saturday night at UFC 144.