“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is a big fan of winning, and he doesn’t really care much how he has to get there to claim a victory.
The former WEC champion who now reigns atop the UFC’s 155-pound division, like many fighters, has had his share of exciting finishes, back and forth battles, and razor close decisions.
The way Henderson claimed the title by beating Frankie Edgar was such a close call that the UFC granted the former champion an automatic rematch. The second fight was even closer than the first, but still Henderson came away with the belt.
Whether flashy and exciting or a close call down to the wire, Henderson doesn’t really care how he gets there, as long as when the fight is over Bruce Buffer is announcing him as the winner.
“I think the first two Frankie fights, the first one was close and everyone was hoping that the second one wouldn’t be as close, be more decisive, but sadly the second one was even closer than the first one. It is what it is,” Henderson said recently when speaking to MMAWeekly.com.
So for his second title defense Henderson now draws former Ultimate Fighter winner and perennial bad boy Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 5, but his philosophy and approach in the fight is exactly the same.
Win by any means necessary.
“I’m just trying to get a W,” said Henderson. “I’m trying to get my hand raised however I can get it. He slips on a banana peel, I’ll take it. If it’s a decisive victory, I’ll take it.
“If it’s a closer razor thin decision, even closer than the second Frankie fight, I’ll take that too. Getting a W is not easy to come by in the UFC going against the best guy literally on the planet. I’ll take it any way I can get it.”
Henderson may take some criticism for his attitude to get the win even if it’s a close controversial decision, but in reality it’s a philosophy more fighters are likely to take if it means getting their hands on a UFC title.
The fact is Henderson competes in one of the toughest, most closely contested divisions in all of MMA, and he’s not too worried about getting the big knockout or crazy submission. If it happens, he’ll be all the more excited, but he won’t force something that puts him in a position for a greater risk to lose.
He’s also not going to disrespect his upcoming opponent by predicting that he’ll finish him inside the 25-minute time limit. Henderson knows just how good Diaz really is, and this could be another insanely close fight.
“I always fight, we all fight to end fights and to be as decisive as possible. But sometimes when you’re fighting the best guys on the planet you just can’t make it as easy as that. It’d be kind of offensive I think if I just said ‘oh yeah, I’m going there, I’m going to knockout Nate Diaz, no problem,’” said Henderson.
“No, I’m not going to say that. Nate Diaz is tough. He’s darn tough. And I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to get my hand raised any way possible.”
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