Benson Henderson: Winning Isn’t Everything, It’s the Only Thing

December 3, 2012
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Benson Henderson at the UFC 150 weigh-ins“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is a big fan of winning, and he doesn’t really care much how he has to get there to claim a victory.

The former WEC champion who now reigns atop the UFC’s 155-pound division, like many fighters, has had his share of exciting finishes, back and forth battles, and razor close decisions.

The way Henderson claimed the title by beating Frankie Edgar was such a close call that the UFC granted the former champion an automatic rematch. The second fight was even closer than the first, but still Henderson came away with the belt.

Whether flashy and exciting or a close call down to the wire, Henderson doesn’t really care how he gets there, as long as when the fight is over Bruce Buffer is announcing him as the winner.

“I think the first two Frankie fights, the first one was close and everyone was hoping that the second one wouldn’t be as close, be more decisive, but sadly the second one was even closer than the first one. It is what it is,” Henderson said recently when speaking to

So for his second title defense Henderson now draws former Ultimate Fighter winner and perennial bad boy Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 5, but his philosophy and approach in the fight is exactly the same.

Win by any means necessary.

“I’m just trying to get a W,” said Henderson. “I’m trying to get my hand raised however I can get it. He slips on a banana peel, I’ll take it. If it’s a decisive victory, I’ll take it.

“If it’s a closer razor thin decision, even closer than the second Frankie fight, I’ll take that too. Getting a W is not easy to come by in the UFC going against the best guy literally on the planet. I’ll take it any way I can get it.”

Henderson may take some criticism for his attitude to get the win even if it’s a close controversial decision, but in reality it’s a philosophy more fighters are likely to take if it means getting their hands on a UFC title.

The fact is Henderson competes in one of the toughest, most closely contested divisions in all of MMA, and he’s not too worried about getting the big knockout or crazy submission. If it happens, he’ll be all the more excited, but he won’t force something that puts him in a position for a greater risk to lose.

He’s also not going to disrespect his upcoming opponent by predicting that he’ll finish him inside the 25-minute time limit. Henderson knows just how good Diaz really is, and this could be another insanely close fight.

“I always fight, we all fight to end fights and to be as decisive as possible. But sometimes when you’re fighting the best guys on the planet you just can’t make it as easy as that. It’d be kind of offensive I think if I just said ‘oh yeah, I’m going there, I’m going to knockout Nate Diaz, no problem,'” said Henderson.

“No, I’m not going to say that. Nate Diaz is tough. He’s darn tough. And I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to get my hand raised any way possible.”

Stay tuned to for all your UFC on Fox 5 news and fight coverage.

  • Maddawgmar

    Wow, way to steal Lombardi’s quote there. Way to be original. #SwaggerJacker.

    Can’t wait for this fight. It should be an exciting fight. I like how they match up.

  • This division is still deep and there have been so great fights but its almost like everybody fought each other already. Who’s really left? Pettis/Maynard or Maynard/Henderson and Pettis/Diaz. Thats all I can think of. Jim Miller of course is still in line, Frankie would still be if they didn’t offer him Aldo. I think Miller and Frankier should have rematched, that would have been cool.

    • adam1848

      I still think Cerrone is in the mix, even after getting beat up by Nate. The guy’s kicks are so mean it only takes one getting through to change the course of a fight. He didn;t use his legs enough in his fight with Diaz, in my opinion.

      • Ah how could I forget him… good call. And yea I’d like to see Cerrone actually fight Lauzon. Even though Lauzon is scheduled.

  • stevemcz11

    I think Henderson will get destroyed by Nate. I havent seen any good striking or grappling from Henderson since he came into the UFC. His opponents tend to spoon feed him dominant positions in every single UFC fight he has had. Guida literally fell over from trying to push the pace and drag a fight out of this guy. He wont make it past round 3 on Saturday night

    • el che

      i believe it will be the other way around. i think Bendo will decisively win this fight with a more relenting pace (this isn’t Nick we’re speaking off) than Nate and out muscle him in tight situations.

      look for Bendo opening up your eyes and OUTCLASSING Nate and might even pull off a stoppage within the 5.

      anyhow, we’ll see come Sat. ought to be good.

      • stevemcz11

        I havent seen Bendo out muscle any UFC competition and they have all been much smaller than him in the UFC so far. Miller,Guida and Edgar are much smaller and he couldnt outgrapple or out muscle any of them. Frankie threw him to the ground like a rag doll everytime Bendo tried to clinch him. And Nate is the first opponent that isnt much smaller than him. Miller, Edgar and Guida outstruck Henderson in there striking exchanges and those guys were much shorter and had to close the distance on him to do it and he still was unable to hit them back before they got back out. He will have to close the distance on Nate which I honestly cant see happening. Look what Diaz did to Miller in the striking department before he finished him. I think one of our eyes will be opened on Saturday but your a bit delusional as to whos 🙂

        • gabe

          Did you watch that henderson vs miler fight? Been destroyed him for three rounds he outmuscled I’m and out classed him…same with guida

        • el che

          simply outlassed – no shame though, cause he lost to the better man.