‘Just win, baby’ ~ Al Davis
Famous words from the late, great owner of the Oakland Raiders, and that’s a motto that UFC lightweight Ben Henderson carries with him to this day.
Henderson may be on the cusp of a title shot if he can get past Clay Guida at this weekend’s UFC on Fox show, but it doesn’t really matter much to the former WEC champion.
See for Henderson there’s pressure on every fight, but if he boils everything down to once very simple principle, the rest of it all goes away.
Just win baby.
“I think you almost have to look at every fight that way. Every fight you have, literally, and I can’t over stress enough how important it is just to win,” Henderson told MMAWeekly Radio recently. “How hard it is to win in the Octagon, just to win. Whether it’s a No. 1 contendership, whether you’re fighting to defend your title for the 17th time, whether you’re fighting to defend your title for the first time, whether it’s your first fight in the UFC.
“It’s incredibly important to win. Just go get that ‘W’.”
Without even talking about title shots or anything else, Henderson says there’s enough pressure on fighters to just go out there and get the victory. For all the talk and bravado that comes along with mixed martial arts, Henderson knows that saying you’re going to win, believing you’re going to win and actually winning are three very different concepts.
“There’s a world of pressure to get that ‘W’ and that’s how I feel going into all my fights. No. 1 contender spot, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. That’s how I approach all my fights,” said Henderson.
When the subject of a title shot comes up, Henderson approaches it like the unknown. Of course he’d love the chance to fight for the most prestigious title in the lightweight division, but that decision is out of his control.
“Who knows. Dana White and Joe Silva it’s kind of up to those guys, you never know,” said Henderson. “Like at the last UFC event so many freaking curveballs were involved. It’s always possible. Who knows. Gil (Melendez) might end up coming over after his next fight in Dec, they might bring Gil over to fight for the title right away.
“Who knows what Joe Silva and Dana White are going to do.”
What Henderson can control is his own destiny. He keeps winning, he’ll eventually get to the peak of the sport and get the shot at the UFC lightweight title.
Talking about it won’t earn it however, Henderson knows he has to prove it. Do that and Joe Silva and Dana White will surely pay attention.
“I just take it one fight at a time, keep getting my hand raised,” said Henderson. “Eventually it will all work itself out.”