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Tag: Ben Henderson

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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Breaking Down All Eight ‘UFC vs. Strikeforce’ Bouts on This Saturday’s Henderson vs. Melendez Card

As we pointed out on Facebook earlier today, the entire main card of this Saturday’s UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez event features a UFC veteran taking on a former Strikeforce standout. What’s more, there are four fights on the prelims that fit this same pattern. While the UFC has set up cards along national lines in the past — see UFC 58: USA vs. Canada and UFC 117: USA vs. Brazil, Pretty Much they’ve never been this overt with their UFC vs. Strikeforce matchmaking. Will the UFC vets fight harder in an attempt to defend their turf? Will the Strikeforce crossovers band together to continue their invasion of the Octagon? Take a look at all eight matchups below and let us know which side you think will emerge victorious.

Headshot images via Card/The UG.


BENSON HENDERSON vs. GILBERT MELENDEZ (for UFC lightweight title)
The odds say: Bendo is a strong favorite to defend his belt at -250.
We say:
When you put this much talent into the cage at the same time, anything can happen. But while we think this fight will be closer than the betting line reflects, there’s been an unbreakable, unstoppable quality to Henderson’s performances during his 6-0 UFC run. Until we see how Melendez actually performs in the Octagon, we’re picking the champ.


FRANK MIR vs. DANIEL CORMIER (HW)
The odds say: Cormier is a virtual lock at -375.
We say:
That sounds about right. Cormier has all the skills to be a future UFC champ, and barring any freakish leglocks, Frank Mir is just a stop along the way.

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[VIDEO] UFC on Fox 7: Melendez vs. Henderson — ‘Road to the Octagon’ Preview Show


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

It’s as simple as this — Saturday’s UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez card features top-ranked fighters and heavy stakes. As such, we love getting a lil’ something extra in anticipation of it. This UFC on Fox 7: Road to the Octagon documentary gives us just that, including behind-the-scenes footage with Benson Henderson (competing at a Jiu Jitsu tournament with his mom, working out with the NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald), Gilbert Melendez (at home and at work with his ex-fighter fiance and business partner, chilling with his tight-knit ‘Skrap Pack’), Frank Mir (crying, and on a flight to New Mexico to conduct the first training camp of his career away from his wife and twenty kids) and more pre-fight action from Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Cormier.

It’s a good way to waste your lunch hour today — better, at least, than talking to that weird guy at the office who always just eats a can of soup for lunch, like, every day. (Seriously? Get some protein in there, you’re a grown ass man.) Anyway, watch it and tune in Saturday. It’s free, so you’ve got no excuse not to, fight fans.

-Elias Cepeda

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Photo of the Day: Ben Henderson’s Mom Earns First BJJ Medal, Officially a BAMF


(Great job, Mom! Now all I have to teach you is how to get your arm bent 90 degrees in the opposite direction without breaking a sweat and you’ll be unstoppable!) 

It is a scientific fact that UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has one of the most supportive/adorable MMA moms in the bidness. According to Bendo’s Wikipedia page, his Korean-born mother, Song, was not only responsible for introducing Benson to martial arts through Tae Kwon Do, but is apparently so supportive of her son’s career that she has begun to take some martial arts classes (specifically, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) of her own despite being 50+ years of age.

And if the above picture is any indication, it appears that Song was born to be a fighter as well. Henderson tweeted the above photo this morning with the following words of wisdom:

My mama’s 1st ever #BJJ (any kind of) competition, from this past weekend…this 4’9″, 50+ year old Korean lady inspires the crap outta me everyday…earned herself a standing ovation and bronze medal too…she was nervous as crap but pulled thru like a #Champ

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Ben Henderson to Defend Lightweight Title Against Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7 in April


(Photo via Esther Lin for Strikeforce)

Update: The booking has been confirmed.

According to a new report from MMAFighting that cites “sources with knowledge of the situation,” reigning UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will attempt to make his third title-defense against longtime Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7, which is slated to go down April 20th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

Henderson is coming off arguably the most impressive win of his career, dominating Gilbert’s homey Nate Diaz for five rounds in their meeting last month at UFC on FOX 5. It was the sixth-consecutive win for “Smooth” since he migrated to the UFC from the WEC, though Henderson has yet to score a stoppage victory in the Octagon. That’s not likely to change against Melendez, who has never been knocked out or submitted in 23 professional fights.

Melendez picked up his seventh-straight win in May 2012, winning a split-decision in a rubber match against Josh Thompson. Since then, the Cesar Gracie product has been sidelined by injury after injury. And though we were skeptical of Melendez’s latest withdrawal — the Cesar Gracie fighter had much more to lose from a fight against Pat Healy at Strikeforce’s final event than he stood to gain, and may have acted accordingly — it’s clear that his devious plan worked.

But before you go booking your travel plans, MMAFighting adds this caveat:

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