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Tag: Ben Henderson

Gamblers Beware: Anthony Pettis Currently Listed As a Slight Favorite Over Ben Henderson


(I mean, I *guess* pulling this off could be considered an advantage. I guess.)

This might not come as all that big a shock to you, but there’s been a slight shift in the UFC 163 UFC 164 odds as of late. Mainly, that of the main event featherweight lightweight title bout between Jose Aldo Ben Henderson and T.J. Grant Anthony Pettis. Despite opening as a slight favorite over the last man to defeat him when the replacement matchup was first announced, Henderson’s line has seen a significant dip over the past couple of weeks. According to BestFightOdds, Pettis is listed as high as -125 over Henderson, who is listed between -105 and -115 on various gambling sites.

So yeah, it’s not exactly breaking news. But honestly, we really wanted to use the Henderson/Pettis update as an opportunity to inform you of this weekend’s Cage Warriors 57 event, which if the odds are any indication, should feature at least *two* in-ring decapitations. In the evening’s main event, UFC/Bellator veteran Paul Daley is listed as a -1700 favorite over opponent Jimmy Pocket, a six year-old child with rickets and a pegleg who…I’m sorry, Daley will actually be fighting Lukasz Chlewicki, a 10-2 Polish fighter who we should also assume is receiving this fight as part of his final, dying wish. Because otherwise, what the fuck?

Also set to “compete” on the Cage Warriors card are Aldric Cassata and Jose Luis Zapater, currently listed as +600 underdogs to -1200 favorites Danny Roberts and Ronnie Mann, respectively. May the ghost of Keith Hackney protect those poor gentlemen. He’s dead, right?

-J. Jones

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Who Saw This Coming? T.J. Grant No Longer Guaranteed a Title Shot Upon November Return


(If you enjoy seeing someone immediately regret a decision they made on camera, it doesn’t get much better than this.)

For better or worse, we as a society have become completely incapable of accepting any information at face value. It’s why some of us simply can’t believe that, yes, if you drop your hands and clown around a little too much against a world class fighter, you might get knocked the fuck out even if you’re Anderson Silva. It’s also why some of us simply refuse to believe that T.J. Grant was actually injured when he pulled out of his title fight with Ben Henderson, despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary.

Well, conspiracy theory or not, the concussion Grant suffered while rolling will keep him out of action until at least November. Unfortunately for Grant, his stock will have plummeted so far by the time he returns that he will likely have to fight his way back to a title shot that he will never truly receive once again. That’s UFC politics, baby — greed, get the money, dollar, dollar bill, y’all.

During an appearance on yesterday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Grant spelled out what the future had in store for him and also detailed his decision to pull out of the fight. And again, he would like you to know that it was actually his decision to make:

I’m not scared to fight anyone. If I was healthy and I knew that I could get in shape, I would’ve [tried it.]. It’s a little scary. I wanted to kind of make the best decision for myself. I want to do what’s best for me.

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TJ Grant Out of UFC 164 Title Fight Against Benson Henderson, Anthony Pettis to Replace Him Just Like He Planned All Along


(Oh, don’t act so surprised. / Photo via Getty Images)

MMAJunkie has confirmed with UFC president Dana White that lightweight contender TJ Grant has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled title fight against Benson Henderson at UFC 164 (August 31st, Milwaukee).

Replacing him will be Anthony Pettis, who was previously slated to fight for Jose Aldo’s featherweight title at UFC 163, then pulled out of that fight last month due to a knee injury, and immediately started campaigning to replace TJ Grant against Bendo, despite the fact that the injury was supposed to take Pettis out of circulation for six weeks. The MMA Gods were pleased at Showtime’s audacity, and struck Grant down with an undisclosed injury. Or maybe you’re a conspiracy theorist and you believe the UFC was planning this all along. And that’s fine. I don’t pass judgment on anybody’s beliefs.

The bottom line is, Henderson is making his next title defense against the last guy to beat him, thanks in part to a legendary highlight-reel kick that haunts Henderson to this day. Now that’s a story the UFC can sell. We’ll pass along more details when we have them.

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Anthony Pettis Out Six Weeks With Torn Meniscus, Ben Henderson Conspiracy Theory Officially Debunked


(A visibly ecstatic Grant reacts to the news.) 

Good news, Potato Nation, we can all officially put to rest the theory that Anthony Pettis was faking an injury to steal T.J. Grant’s title shot against Ben Henderson. After news detailing the extent of Pettis’ injury was first passed along by ESPN.com, Dana White recently confirmed with MMAFighting that “Showtime” will be looking at a six week layoff as a result of the knee injury that forced him out of his UFC 163 title fight with Jose Aldo. Unfortunately for us fans, our insatiable need to watch bubble-wrapped Brazilians get the living shit kicked out of them will have to be put on hold for the time being. *pushes school books off desk*

Pettis met with a UFC-approved doctor in Las Vegas who informed him that his torn meniscus injury will require him to sit out for six weeks, UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to MMAFighting.com after ESPN.com first reported it. Pettis originally believed he would return to full-strength in half that time.

The good news for Pettis is that he does not require surgery to fix his injured knee.

So there you have it. Pettis is out, Zombie and Grant are still in, and poor Ricardo Lamas continues to regret denying that Gypsy an extension on her mortgage payment.

-J. Jones

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The UFC Institutes Flip-Flop Ban, Ruins Benson Henderson’s Entire Day


(Also, wearing a scarf over a t-shirt indoors will now be punishable by death. / Photo via Esther Lin for MMAFighting)

As revealed in an update on Benson Henderson’s Facebook fan page, the UFC has just instituted a dress code for its fighters that would ban shorts and require shoes during publicity and marketing appearances. Though requiring athletes to look professional in public is something that other major sports leagues already do, Henderson took the news as a personal affront to his freedom, and his easy-breezy open-toed lifestyle. Here’s what Bendo had to say:

Mwahahaha!!! Guess @ufc decided to make it official…I’m a start calling them the NBA…guess it’s one thing to be encouraged to do or dress one way & entirely another thing to be told to do or dress one way…

“Per Jackie, effective immediately, fighters and talent traveling on press tours and PR/marketing-related appearances are no longer permitted to wear shorts or flip flops. Jeans are acceptable and shoes are a must.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna dress how my employers want but doesn’t mean I gotta be happy about it…”Don’t let the man hold you down” “Fight the power” “You can take my life but you can never take my FREEDOM!!!”

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TJ Grant vs. Benson Henderson Sums Up the UFC’s Most Frustrating Problem: Their Inability to Create New Stars


(TJ Grant, doing his impression of a UFC fan who’s just been told that TJ Grant will be headlining a pay-per-view. Photo via MMAJunkie)

By Matt Saccaro

Most casual fans couldn’t pick Benson Henderson — a world title holder — or TJ Grant — a man challenging for a world title — out of a lineup.

That’s not either guy’s fault. Benson Henderson managed to get the nod from the judges in his last three title defenses, scoring victories over the likes of Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz. And TJ Grant has put together a five-fight winning streak, most recently sending Gray Maynard down faster than Zynga’s stock price.

But that’s the problem: A fight between two guys who have done nothing but kick ass isn’t moving the needle. It’s not that the populace has run out of fucks to give about Henderson and Grant, they just never gave any in the first place.

Want proof?

Look at the estimated buyrates for Henderson’s PPVs. Henderson hasn’t been on a PPV since UFC 150 in August 2012, a card that earned a pathetic 190,000 buys. People don’t want to part with their cash to see Benson Henderson, so the UFC started giving him away for free on FOX. Bendo main evented two FOX cards which performed okay ratings-wise.

The UFC is putting Henderson back on PPV at UFC 164 for his title defense against TJ Grant. This PPV is a Battle of the Blackwater moment for the UFC. If UFC 164 can boast a decent buyrate, then the theory that the UFC can use FOX to create the next generation of stars will be proven true, and the UFC’s future will be a little more secure. But if UFC 164 fails as hard as UFC 150 did — if promoting a fighter TWO TIMES on one of the biggest networks on television failed to make that fighter a draw — then the UFC is in trouble. That would mean one champion who would be dead weight on a card, in addition to the champions from the lighter men’s weight classes who have all yet to establish themselves as major PPV draws.

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Booking Update: Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline ‘UFC on FOX Sports 1:1′, T.J. Grant vs. Ben Henderson Gets Top Billing at UFC 164


(God damn right.)

It’s official, Nation: Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua WILL headline UFC on FOX Sports 1:1, a.k.a “the best television card the UFC has ever done.” While at first glance, a fight between two guys coming off losses doesn’t seem like a great main event for a card this stacked (and makes you wonder if the UFC had a planned main event to begin with), it’s surely a matchup that fans can get excited about nonetheless. And if they aren’t, Sonnen will fondle every available Sportscenter anchor within a 500 mile radius to ensure that you are at least aware that the fight is going down.

The matchup was all but a done deal for next weekend’s UFC 161 card until visa issues forced Sonnen to bow out of the fight he had — like a true American Gangster – offered to take on short notice just days ago. Rua was thusly pulled from the card altogether, but hinted that a potential showdown with Sonnen could take place over the summer.

Sonnen vs. Shogun will now headline the August 17th-scheduled card that already includes such marquee matchups as Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne, Thiago Alves vs. Matt Brown, and Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson. Oh yeah, and Uriah Hall and Conor McGregor will be on the card as well. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a printout of this lineup behind the bushes for a few minutes.

In other fight booking news…

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Ben Henderson vs. T.J. Grant Possible for UFC on FOX Sports 1:1, “Smooth” Still Trying to Figure Out Who Exactly Grant Is


(“Wake up. Wake up. Wake up, sleepies. We must go, yeeees, we must go at once.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

As I so eloquently predicted, the unstoppable lightweight force that is T.J. Grant was able to successfully upset the heavily-favored Gray Maynard via a hellstorm of punches and knees at UFC 160 last weekend (conversely, I would like to apologize to George Roop, who shed his “puffed up crow’s cock” moniker with an impressive TKO of Brian Bowles earlier in the evening). It was so impressive a performance that Dana White actually made good on his promise to grant T.J. the next lightweight title shot, despite the fact that next to no one — including Ben Henderson himself — really knows who Grant is.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, “Smooth” admitted that, prior to Grant’s victory over Maynard, he had no idea who the Canadian was and in fact was already preparing for a future fight with Maynard:

I am a little bit surprised. I think most people had Gray winning. Most people picked Gray to win and not only did T.J. prove everyone wrong, but in the manner and in the fashion that he did it, pretty impressive performance for him. I did (think Maynard was going to win). I thought Gray was going to be the next guy I faced. I was already kind of preparing for that and now I got a new guy to prepare for. I don’t know a whole lot about T.J. to be honest.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez’ Edition


(“Well, Joe, I’d just like to thank God for giving me the strength to-OH SHIT HERE COMES THE REST OF ‘EM.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

Let us begin this week’s edition of the Armchair Matchmaker with a few fun facts about last Saturday’s UFC on FOX 7 event

-With eight (T)KO’s, UFC on FOX 7 tied UFC 92 for the most (T)KO finishes in a single UFC event in the promotion’s history.

-In defeating Jordan Mein via second round TKO, the resurgent Matt Brown now holds the third longest win streak (5) amongst active UFC welterweights, as well as the record for (T)KO finishes in the welterweight division. Yet incredibly, the FOTN check Brown received was the first end of the night bonus he has earned in some 15 UFC fights.

-Frank Mir, like, really dropped the ball against Daniel Cormier.

Now, using those absolute truths and a little speculation, let’s decide who the biggest winners and losers from UFC on FOX 7 should face next, shall we?

The Winners

Ben Henderson: Well, we already know who he’ll be facing next, so that one is pretty easy. The question now becomes: How do you see Bendo taking it? Split decision, unanimous decision, or the always rare majority decision?

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UFC on FOX 7 Video: Benson Henderson Proposes to His Girlfriend, Is Loudly Booed


(Insert toothpick gag. Video via YouTube.com/UFC)

Who says romance is dead? In case you missed the end of the UFC on FOX 7 broadcast on Saturday, Benson Henderson celebrated his title defense against Gilbert Melendez by proposing to his girlfriend Maria. Now, whether you support public marriage proposals or not — I don’t, way too risky — Henderson definitely miscalculated the goodwill of the San Jose crowd, who booed the fight’s decision as soon as it was read, and booed even harder when Bendo dropped to one knee, furious at seeing the enemy walk away with a title belt and a fiance.

“I’m not perfect, I never have been,” Henderson told his lady. “But you make me happier every single day, more than any man has a right to be. I love you. Will you marry me?”

Maria accepted, and then hung out in the background for a minute while Henderson finished off the interview. By the way, this was the first time that Henderson didn’t start off a UFC post-fight interview by quoting Philippians 4:13. Let’s hope this doesn’t lead to any awkward moments at the next Zuffa Christmas party.

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