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Tag: Benson Henderson

UFC Conspiracy Theory of the Day: Anthony Pettis Is Going to Steal TJ Grant’s Title Shot


(And that “Showtime Kick”? As fake as the moon landing. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

As we’ve already discussed, the upcoming UFC 164 lightweight title fight between Benson Henderson and TJ Grant isn’t exactly capturing the hearts and minds of MMA fans, and could potentially tank on pay-per-view. (Which wouldn’t be the first time that Bendo has tanked on PPV.) So when Anthony Pettis went down with a knee injury last week, knocking him out of his UFC 163 featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo, some of the more paranoid fans among us began buzzing: Is this just a ploy to line-jump Pettis into a much more compelling/lucrative fight against Henderson? The two men have some history, after all.

At first we dismissed this theory as lunatic ravings from the same people who would tell you that Luke Rockhold signaled that he was ready to take a dive against Vitor Belfort, or that Chael Sonnen bangs his desk to signify that he’s ready for his close-up. Would Pettis really fake an injury — or would the UFC invent one — in order to screw over TJ Grant and cash in with a bigger fight? Come on, that’s absurd. At least we thought so until we read this:

“I can be 100% ready to fight Benson Henderson in Milwaukee,” said Pettis to Fuel TV. “With all due respect to T.J. Grant, Milwaukee is my town, and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years.”

For the record, UFC president Dana White claims that Pettis’s knee won’t be ready in time for UFC 164 on August 31st, but obviously he’s just trying to keep the public from catching on to his dastardly plot, and TJ Grant will be faking his own injury sometime within the next couple weeks. Allegedly.

But seriously, here’s what Grant had to say about the situation…

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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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The 25 Most Essential MMA Twitter Feeds: 2013 Edition


(Despite what your grandmother thinks, Twitter is not a euphemism and does not warrant a squirt of Dawn in your mouth.)

By Jason Moles

Back in 2010, the brain trust at CagePotato HQ compiled a list of the 25 most essential MMA Twitter feeds to follow. Boy, do we sure know how to pick ‘em. Miguel Torres, Kimbo Slice, Mayhem Miller, Reed Harris, Shane Carwin, and Strikeforce have all since faded out of relevance or gone off the deep end. Wait, Reed does what now? Are you sure? Nevermind — we’re back with an updated list of who you should really be following on Twitter, and this time we’ve actually put some thought into it instead of blindly tossing darts at our screen while simultaneously using a Shakeweight. Please note, this is 2013 and if you don’t already know you should be following Dana White, Arianny Celeste, or Ariel Helwani, you’re probably the reason Jon Jones is defending his title against Chael Sonnen this Saturday at UFC 159. Speaking of the gangster from West Linn…

twitter.com/sonnench

Bio: “Godfather of integrity; dual masters in dominance and modesty; once outboxed Hemingway; & author of this year’s bestseller, available NOW on Amazon”

If you thought Sonnen refused to break kayfabe only when the cameras were rolling, you must not have been paying attention because his gimmick is boundless. The People’s Champion maximizes his 140-character limit with every emasculating jab at his opponents, peers, and detractors in the MMA media. The American Gangster is the only man on Twitter to follow absolutely no one, not even his own mother.

Sample Tweet: “15 – the number of letters in the word hydropneumatics as well as Chael beats Jones. #4/27/13″

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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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UFC on Fox 7 Salaries: Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson? Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson.


Since we can only post so many “U Mad?” GIFs in one day, this will have to suffice.

The UFC paid out a total of $1,518,000 in disclosed salaries and end of the night bonuses to the fighters on last night’s UFC on Fox 7, according to the California State Athletic Commission. Both former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson took home $200,000 for their performances last night, making them the two highest paid fighters on the card. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez took home the evening’s third-highest disclosed salary at $175,000.

The entire disclosed payroll is below, via MMA Junkie. Keep in mind that the following figures account for neither sponsorships and undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” nor do they include deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees. Also, since there were no submissions on the card, two fighters took home a Knockout of the Night bonus.

Benson Henderson: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Gilbert Melendez: $175,000

Daniel Cormier: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)
def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Josh Thomson: $145,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $15,000

Matt Brown: $110,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus and $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Jordan Mein: $66,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Chad Mendes
: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Elkins: $24,000

Francis Carmont: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $23,000

Myles Jury
: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000

Joseph Benavidez: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Hugo Viana: $8,000

Jorge Masvidal: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $10,000

Anthony Njorkuani: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Yoel Romero: $70,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Clifford Starks: $8,000

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The Winner of Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant at UFC 160 Next in Line for Lightweight Title Shot


If you think Gilbert Melendez deserves an immediate rematch, don’t bother reading the article. Just stare at this GIF for five seconds and go directly to the comments section.

If you watched UFC on Fox 7′s main event between UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, you saw an extremely close fight. In the end, Henderson walked away with a split decision victory that many fans felt should have went to Melendez. While the debate over who won the fight continues to rage on [Author Note: For what it's worth, Fight Metric stats seem to confirm that Henderson won.], the talks of an immediate rematch have already been squashed.

By the end of the post-event press conference, Dana White confirmed that the winner of the upcoming bout between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant at UFC 160 – which takes place on May 25 – is next in line for a shot at the lightweight title. At this time, there is no target date for Henderson’s next title defense. In White’s own words:

Gray Maynard is ranked number three. TJ Grant is ranked number seven. Those guys are gonna fight at UFC 160 on May 25. The winner of that fight is gonna fight Ben Henderson next.

So, we’re now pretending that those “official UFC rankings” are influencing how fighters earn title shots? I’m sure Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung will be thrilled by this recent development.

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UFC on Fox 7 Aftermath: Nasty Finishes & A Disputed Decision


(Photo by Esther Lin | MMAFighting)

By Elias Cepeda 

UFC on Fox 7 was a violent and almost uniformly fought at a furious pace over the course of twelve preliminary and main card bouts. Eight bouts finished inside of the distance, and the main event was five close-fought, damaging rounds long.

Welterweights Matt Brown and Jordan Mein each got extra $50,000 bonus checks for putting on the fight of the night and Josh Thomson and Yoel Romero each got knockout of the night awards and 50k bonuses.

Thomson returned to the UFC in style by handing Nate Diaz his first ever stoppage loss – a second round TKO stoppage. Romero caught Clifford Starks with a flying knee and won a quick via quick TKO.

Neither Daniel Cormier nor Frank Mir won extra bonuses for their three-round heavyweight bout. Cormier did continue to show that he is a legitimate contender in the division, on the strength of his world-class wrestling skills and speed, despite being vastly undersized.

As they took the center of the Octagon, the smaller Cormier looked like he was facing his uncle in the large former two-time heavyweight champ Mir. Once Cormier got a hold of Mir, over and over again throughout the fight, it was the two-time Olympic wrestler that looked like a man fighting a child.

Cormier clinched with Mir, pressed him against the cage, let go and, on separation, unloaded nasty hooks and uppercuts to the head and body of Mir, along with elbows and knees before clinching back up and rinsing and repeating. As the fight wore on and Mir proved helpless against Cormier’s strategy, referee Herb Dean didn’t like Cormier’s dominance so he tried, as all refs disturbingly seem to be instructed to do, to give Mir more of a chance by breaking up the clinch work quickly but that couldn’t stop the wrestler from continuing to close the distance.

Mir would not be mentally broken despite eating big shots and being ground down, and he fought hard in the third round – throwing hard punches and knees. The ones that did connect, however, were absorbed by Cormier, and he just went back to pressing Mir against the cage and doing short striking work at will.

Cormier fought the smartest fight he could against a much larger, more experienced opponent. The cerebral fighter knew that the middle was his friend. Had he stayed out on the outside, Mir might have used his far superior reach to land big shots.

Had Cormier taken Mir down (he did so once, with a single leg, but did not follow Mir to the ground. Choosing instead, to let the Jiu Jitsu master stand up and eat an over hand right), he would have let the black belt do work where he was most comfortable and dangerous. So, Cormier did what he should have – control the clinch and then use his superior speed to land at will on separation.

I don’t know how long this lightweight/welterweight-heighted phenom will continue to be successful at heavyweight, but so far he can count two former UFC heavyweight champs as wins, as well as the #1 contender to the belt right now, Antonio Silva. It has been fun to watch Cormier figure out how to win fights at heavyweight.

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UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez — Live Results and Commentary


(Premature celebration. Always a great idea. / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com. For more images from this set, click here.)

Tonight at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, top-ranked lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez will finally get his chance to prove himself in the Octagon — with Benson Henderson‘s belt on the line — while undefeated phenom Daniel Cormier will attempt to justify his own swelling hype in a heavyweight matchup with Frank Mir. Add in all the other UFC vs. Strikeforce matchups, and you basically have MMA’s version of the Sharks vs. the Jets, but with the dance steps replaced by middle fingers in your got-damn face. So will the latest batch of Strikeforce crossovers make the grade or will they go up in smoke?

Taking you through the action tonight is our good friend Elias Cepeda, who’s giving us round-by-round results from the UFC on FOX 7 main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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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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[VIDEO] Benson Henderson Competes at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Pan-Am Championships


(Video by Budo Videos)

Last week, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson was just one month away from a nationally televised title defense against Gilbert Melendez, but he still managed to get in a couple Jiu Jitsu matches in one of the world’s most prestigious grappling tournaments. Henderson competed in the brown belt ability division of the BJJ Pan-Am Championships last week and, though he was eventually eliminated and did not place, he showed that he could hang with guys who spend all of their time training in BJJ’s weird set of gi rules, despite doing it just as a hobby.

In the above match, Henderson takes on Brazilian Pedro Alcantara in the middleweight division. The action comes in spurts but the match is very closely contested with Alcantara threatening with omo-plata shoulder locks and sweeps off of his back, and Henderson defending, working for take downs and passing guard.

The two start the match feinting with shot attempts before Alcantara pulls full guard. It doesn’t take him long to pull in Henderson’s right shoulder and work for triangle chokes, which the fighter shrugs off, and then shoulder locks. Initially, Alcantara is able to use the lock to sweep Henderson, earning points.

Henderson hangs tough and refuses to let Alcantara pass his guard. Eventually, Henderson is able to stand up and score a take down. On the ground, he proves better at passing than Alcantara was and pressures and angles until he secures the side mount and earns more points.

Recovering his guard, Alcantara threatens more with the shoulder lock, but this time Henderson will not be moved, and effectively stops both the submission and sweep attempts. The match ends and Henderson has won on points.

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