Former UFC Champ Benson Henderson Avoids Elbow Surgery, Can Resume Training Immediately

September 7, 2013
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Benson Henderson UFC 144Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson injured his arm when Anthony Pettis submitted him via armbar at UFC 164 on Aug. 31 in Milwaukee.

The good news, however, is that Henderson’s injury isn’t severe, and he won’t need surgery.

Henderson visited Dr. Brian Shafer this week and learned that there is no structural damage to his elbow. Dr. Shafer is an elbow specialist in Phoenix and a team physician with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There is no specified timetable for Benson’s return to the Octagon.

“My elbow isn’t going to be an issue,” said Henderson. “Dr. Shafer said I can resume training immediately, but to take it slow and steady for a couple of weeks and do my rehab work. Of course I am anxious to get going full speed again, but I will be smart and patient about it as well.

“I want to thank my hardcore fans for their awesome support, not just in the past week, but throughout my career. I can be better. I will be better.”

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  • James O’Neill

    That’s great news! Can’t wait for you to be the Champ again. #Bensonrules

    • Advance*

      Get ready to be really patient

      • Darin

        Yep. He’ll have to crush (no lucky decisions) some very good fighters just to get a chance at a third fight with Pettis. Going 0-2 against the champ is a bad place to be.

        • Sir_Roy

          If Pettis loses to Grant, Benson’s chance will come sooner rather than later IMHO. Barring that, then yeah, Benson’s potentially in for a fairly long climb back up.

          • Ian Price

            Yes, grant is a monster, but Pettis is on a whole ‘nother level.

          • Lucas Freire

            I really like Pettis, but after seeing Grant obliterate Maynard, I don’t count him out. I mean, I have to stress it out everytime we talk about it: Maynard’s only loss before TJ grant brutal TKO was against Frankie Edgar, he defeated basically all the old UFC top contenders, he was the #1 contender for a loooooong time. And then TJ comes and just destroys him.

          • Sir_Roy

            One thing’s for damn sure. Pettis is not getting thrown an easy first title defense.

          • Dragon Kid

            I wouldn’t get excited just yet just becoz he knocked out a long time title contender. This is also the same guy who’s lost to Johny Hendricks and Dong Hyun Kim

          • Lucas Freire

            Who are great fighters from a higher division. Johnny Hendricks is the top contender on WW and Dong Hyun Kim is in my eyes a top15 fighter.

          • Dragon Kid

            Shows that Grant doesnt do too well with higher ranked fighters.

            The LW Division now is thin that guys like Guida, Siver, Edgar etc have dropped down to FW. Grant hasn’t beaten many top names & I feel he needs to fight one or two more top guys before he’s really ready for a shot at the title.

          • Lucas Freire

            I don’t understand.
            “Shows that Grant doesnt do too well with higher ranked fighters.”

            You really want to compare 170 fighters to 155 fighters? Nate Diaz was demolished on 170, including a defeat against Dong Hyum Kim, and is a top5 guy at 155.

          • Dragon Kid

            Diaz dropped back down to lightweight after back to back losses in middleweight. he earned a title shot by defeating well known lightweights. Now he’s on a 2 fight losing streak. For Grant, he’s been a nobody until the Maynard fight. He hasn’t really beaten the best of the best. Would like to see him fight someone on the level like Jim Miller, Ross Pearson, Edson Barboza or even Ben Henderson

          • Lucas Freire

            The problem is while he was building his 5-win-streak, everybody else was losing. So now it really doesn’t makes sense putting him against anyone who is the loser side of the balance. See what I mean? Other than Shane Roller, everybody he defeated was coming from wins. I too think he should prove himself more in the division, but given the moment and the way he defeated the bully, I’d say he’s the only option for a title shot.

          • JET

            I agree that no one has blasted Maynard the way Grant did and he shouldn’t be counted out. But to be fair, Maynard’s record is a little deceiving. Yes, technically his only loss was to Frankie before getting smashed by Grant. But he also has the draw in there, making him 1-2-1 in his last 4. His wins against the other contenders were all boring decisions, two of which were split decisions he should have lost. And he also had the submission loss to Nate Diaz in the TUF house that doesn’t go on his record, but counts in most people’s eyes.

    • taylor2008

      I dont see it happening. Pettis has his number. Then you have to worry about Melendez, who I think beat him last time. THen you have to worry about TJ Grant. If he does become champ again, and thats a big if, it wont be for a least a couple years.

  • André Maranzato

    I hope to see Benson back to the octagon again very soon! His lifestory is an example of a real life warrior.

  • Jay Magallon

    I love watching Benson Henderson. It would be nice if he didnt go to so many decisions but that’s really irrelevant. Benson easily makes 5 round decisions more exciting than anyone else. GSP is not even close. I also love watching Pettis. Pettis came out with a plan smarter than a lot of people realize. Obviously I don’t know the REAL gameplan, BUT he was extremely aggressive at the first opportunity he had. Not only that, I don’t care what the hell jiu-jitsu belt he has, without boring anyone with the details, that arm bar from my own experience is very high level. You go one way and another at the same time is the only way I can explain it. Saying he was only a blue belt was adding insult after injury. I can’t wait to see where they both go from here. Pettis, Congrats brother you f’n deserved it.

    • Sir_Roy

      Only reason GSP might not be considered “close” is because in his 5 round decisions, GSP completely dominates wherein Benson has to really fight to stay alive and win.

      Though I would put GSP’s fight against Carlos up against all of Benson’s title defenses any day insofar as excitement is concerned.

      • Jay Magallon

        Yes, that was an excellent fight.

  • Darin

    Remember the armbar Rousey threw on Tate? That’s how a champ takes an armbar. Tate out-hearts Bendo.

    • Sir_Roy

      You don’t have to sacrifice your brains to have heart. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      It’s just plain stupid not to tap, or to wait too long, and to let someone rip your arm off. It needlessly messes with ones career. A career dependent upon a healthy, and intact, body.

      Pettis had Benson’s elbow in a bad place. Benson did the smart thing. A fighter of his experience knows when there’s no getting out of something, when it’s bad, and when waiting one second too long to react accordingly can mean a year long layoff from ones career … or longer.

      Sometimes, that takes heart too.

  • So who are the two guys everyone wants to see Bendo fight next to regain a title shot? I’m sure he can get a title shot with one win. Pettis beat him 3 years ago in a tough decision. He finished him with a beautiful armbar but that doesn’t mean Henderson should be put in back of the line.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Khabib Nurmagomedov. Ben already beat almost all of the top ten guys. Besides, I think Khabib takes it in devastating fashion and is the champ by next mid year!

      • TSAtouchedmyweenie

        I would love to see Khabib tested and Benson would sure be a big test.

        BUT… with 2 losses to the champ Benson needs I’d say a minimum of 3 wins, a finish or two wouldn’t hurt…. before he gets another shot at Pettis.

        *If pettis loses the title that changes, but as long as pettis has the strap Benson has some work to do before he is in title talks.

      • Sounds like a great fight, good call.

  • TheCerealKiller

    The only thing that irritates me about Showtimes win, is the fact that he didn’t “beat” Henderson. Before everyones head explodes, I understand a win is a win. I just think it cheapens the win if you win by a quick submission. For example, Mir/Lesnar 1. Brock beat Mir’s ass. Anderson/Sonnon 1. Sonnon whoop his as for 5 rounds. Pettis didn’t beat him up or do any real damage at all.
    It was best summed up by my friend who does watch much MMA. He looked at me and said, “Really, we waited all night for that? Showtime my ass.”

    • TSAtouchedmyweenie

      you are…… a moron.

      Benson gave up, he quit, his arm was mangled, he couldn’t fight anymore and he had to go to the hospital. You are aware this was an MMA fight, right?

      • TheCerealKiller

        I know ben quit, I’m just saying I would like to see a great fight for a title fight. But thanks for the name calling!

        • TSAtouchedmyweenie

          I call ’em like I see ’em.

          I thought it WAS a great fight. BJJ is a beautiful thing and can end a fight (and a title reign) in the blink of an eye.

      • Karen Meade

        “Benson gave up, he quit, his arm was mangled…”

        And who’s fault was that? ‘Showtime’ should have realized that Cereal Killer waited all freakin night for a ‘show’, and let Ben’s arm go. What Pettis did was just plain selfish. Not to mention, I think a piece of Pettis’ foot is still stuck in Ben’s ribs.

        Anyway, like Chael said, Jiu Jitsu doesn’t work, so obviously Ben is still the champ.

    • Lucas Freire

      Dafuq? It’s the same as saying Silva didn’t beat Belfort because he KOed him quickly

    • Jay Magallon

      I kinda feel on strictly on a level of disappointment for not getting to witness a longer fight, but those body kicks before the armbar were absolutely horrendous. Benson didn’t react at first, choosing to keep his poker face strong, but that 4th kick I believe caught him and he favored that side before he straightened his body out again. He appeared to be on his way to getting smashed on the feet. But, yeah, I wish it would have been a longer fight too.

  • jpgagne

    Tons of respect for Bendo, although I was very happy to see Pettis win. Whatever Dana White said, there is going to be a 3rd chapter in the Bendo-Pettis saga. Bendo will go through anyone Joe SIlva throws at him, and will earn another title shot.