Found December 10, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
SEATTLE -- On the biggest stage the sport has ever had, at the final show of the UFCs inaugural year on FOX, after a dominating five-round victory to keep his lightweight belt, Benson Henderson grabbed the microphone in the middle of the Octagon and said this: Seattle! Key Arena! I can do all things through Christ! It was just as powerful of a statement as Hendersons relentless victory over fellow 155-pounder Nate Diaz that solidified Hendersons spot as the king of the UFCs deepest division. Again and again, Henderson kept taking the normally elusive Diaz to the ground. He knocked him back with elbows and landed a first-round punch to Diazs right eye that blurred Diazs vision for the rest of the fight. He bounced around the Octagon with as much energy in the final round as he did in the first, his Troy Polamalu-esque hair getting in his eyes and a toothpick a toothpick! lodged inside his mouth. This was a moment for gloating. Benson Henderson would have been excused if he took the microphone and told the world he was the greatest. We all would have understood if he sniped at the doubters who werent impressed with his past two fights, razor-thin decision victories over Frankie Edgar. We would have looked past it if Henderson had ripped on Diaz, who had flipped Henderson the bird twice in the middle of the fight. But Benson Henderson did none of those things. Instead, he pointed at the crowd and spread his arms, displaying the giant angel-wing tattoo on his back. He looked toward his tiny Korean mother in the front row and bowed at her. He spoke about how he was fighting with a heavy heart because his best friends mother was just diagnosed with lymphoma and a business partners 17-year-old son had just died in a hiking accident. What Benson Henderson did after retaining his lightweight belt was just as impressive as what he did against Nate Diaz. He was himself. He was a humble, God-fearing, polite young man. And he showed the national television audience that this sport, once derided as human cockfighting, has undergone an image shift that shows its fighters as human beings good, kind, respectful human beings and not barbarians. At a time when mixed martial arts has become the fastest-growing sport in the world and the UFC has moved into the mainstream, having champions like Benson Henderson is exactly what the UFC needs. It makes you realize I love fighting, but theres a lot more important stuff than fighting, guys, Henderson said of the recent tragedies for his two friends. I just wanted to take the time and reiterate that and tell the world. Show some love. Hug up on (your kids). Cherish the time you have. You never know. His son was 17 years old. It hit him hard. It hit me hard. It was real. It was heartwarming. And the amazing part is that if you look at the state of the UFC right now, youll see plenty of prominent fighters who are just like Henderson: incredible athletes and kind, pleasant, likable people. The light-heavyweight champ, Jon Jones, is a soft-spoken son of a preacher who has a Bible verse tattooed on his chest. You would be hard-pressed to find a more respectful, polite man than welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. Light-heavyweight contender Vitor Belfort is one of the sports most vocal Christians. As the UFC keeps growing, it does so through winning over people who never thought they could be UFC fans. Fighters such as Benson Henderson not Nate Diaz, with his prominent middle fingers are what the sport needs at the top. Just before the Henderson fight began, the wife of my college roommate a big sports fan who has always said she despises the brutality of the UFC posted about the sport on Facebook. Just realized Ive spent the last two hours watching UFC fighting, she wrote. I am strangely drawn to it. It was with the same sort of surprise that I had my own UFC conversion a year ago. Id avoided watching UFC because I thought of it as cage-fighting -- brutal, uncivilized activity that seemed better paired with the testosterone-fueled soap operas of pro wrestling than with a real sport, like football. The first fight I saw was Jon Jones light-heavyweight title defense against Rampage Jackson last year. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the sport, especially as practiced by a true artist such as Jones. Yes, its violent. But I was more struck by the humility and the respect the fighters often show, a nod to the sports roots in Eastern martial arts. Soon, I no longer called it cage-fighting. I called it mixed martial arts, a ballet-like sport of beauty and endurance. I thought of the UFC as an organization more and more of the best athletes on earth are gravitating toward, the truest test of who is the toughest man. There is no getting over the fact that, as Henderson sat on the stage at the post-fight news conference, B.J. Penn, whod lost to up-and-coming Rory MacDonald in a beatdown earlier in the night, was at a local hospital for observation. Theres no way of getting around the violence and the primal feelings that a combat sport generates. But theres also something powerful about the UFC lifting up its champions as not just amazing athletes but admirable -- not to mention marketable -- people. For me, its more a daily walk, Henderson said of his faith. Its what I do every day, not putting on a show. Its more about your daily walk with the Lord. Im not afraid to wear it on my sleeve. Henderson shrugged. His walkout song was a gospel song titled Awesome God, by R-Swift. Some people find the mix of combat sports and Christian faith to be odd. Henderson does not. Some guys need death metal music, he said. Some guys need gospel music. And that, metaphorically speaking, is exactly what the UFC needs: more gospel music.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

UFC on FOX 5 Video Highlights: Bendo smashes Diaz in Seattle

Proudest Mom Ever? Benson Henderson put a shellacking on Nate Diaz in Seattle, Washington last night. It was the type of dominant championship performances that left fans wondering, who's next? One could argue that Benson's victories (especially the one at UFC 150) over Frankie Edgar weren't decisive enough to establish him as the undisputed #1 lightweight in the...

Nate Diaz Flips Off Benson Henderon Mid Fight

Nate Diaz Believes Gilbert Melendez Should be Next for UFC Champ Benson Henderson

After 17 UFC fights, Nate Diaz (Pictured) finally got to taste a championship fight. Although Diaz came up short in Saturday’s title bout against reigning lightweight champ Benson Henderson, he believes his Gracie Jiu Jitsu homie and current Strikeforce 155-pound king Gilbert Melendez would take it to “Smooth” and likely take his belt in the process. “[Gilbert's] got...

Henderson: Good guy. Great fighter.

On the biggest stage the sport has ever had, at the final show of the UFC's inaugural year on FOX, after a dominating five-round victory to keep his lightweight belt, Benson Henderson grabbed the microphone in the middle of the Octagon and said this: "Seattle! Key Arena! I can do all things through Christ !" It was just as powerful of a statement as Henderson's...

Benson Henderson Poses With Larry Fitzgerald

Benson Henderson took it to Nate Diaz last night and proved himself as the champion.  Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best players and men in the NFL and the 2 have plenty in common.  Nate Diaz Flips Off Benson Mid Fight Bones Finds Benson’s Brother

UFC on FOX: Fight blog

Benson Henderson vs Nate Diaz Round 5: The two are yet again fighting in the clinch up against the cage. The stalemate is ended by a huge slam from Henderson. Henderson threatens with a choke when Diaz gives up his back, but settles for laying in some heavy elbows and punches when the challenger rolls back onto his back. Diaz gets back to his feet but Henderson is still right...

UFC on FOX 5 Results: Diaz, Henderson, Shogun, BJ Penn…

  Main Card Weight Class Method Round Time Notes Lightweight  Benson Henderson (c) vs.  Nate Diaz Note 1 Light Heavyweight  Mauricio Rua vs.  Alexander Gustafsson Welterweight  B.J. Penn vs.  Rory MacDonald Welterweight  Mike Swick vs.  Matt Brown Preliminary Card (FX) Lightweight  Yves Edwards vs.  Jeremy Stephens Bantamweight  Raphael Assunção vs.  Mike Easton Lightweight...

UFC On FOX 5 News: Weigh-Ins + Videos, Card & Hype

The UFC on FOX 5 wweigh-ins are in the book’s for tonight’s event. Title challenger Nate Diaz initially weighed in at 155.6 lbs. and later looked surprised he did not get the one pound allowance in a title fight. In a title fight, you are not allowed to come in one pound over the weight limit. Diaz weighed in a second time at 155.2 lbs., but on his third try he was able to finally...

UFC On FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz winners and fallout

The UFC On FOX 5 fights themselves did come through, as most contests were exciting, entertaining and featured a number of finishes. Although not everything went according to plan.

Benson Ramon Makes Statement With Toothpick Win

UFC champion Benson Henderson channeled his inner Razor Ramon during his fight with Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 5…Was Benson proving a point with the toothpick in his mouth? By the way, If Nate Diaz had won with something like that in his mouth the commision would  probably ban him for life. We Figured Out MacDonald’s New Look Benson Henderson Is Hard To Beat
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.