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Benson Henderson

Born November 16, 1983 (1983-11-16) (age 26)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Other names Smooth
Nationality United States American
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
Division Lightweight
Style Wrestling
Fighting out of Glendale, Arizona
Team MMA Lab
Rank      black belt in Taekwondo
     purple belt in BJJ
MMA record
Total 12
Wins 11
By knockout 2
By submission 7
By decision 2
Losses 1
By knockout 1

Benson Henderson (born November 16, 1983) is a Korean American professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. He fights for World Extreme Cagefighting in their lightweight division. He is the current WEC Lightweight Champion after defeating Jamie Varner in a title unification bout at WEC 46.[1].



Ben Henderson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Korean mother and American father[2]. He was raised in Federal Way, Washington. He attended Decatur High School from 1998 to 2001 when he graduated. After graduating from high school, he attended Dana College in Blair, Nebraska and graduated in 2006 with a double major in criminal justice and sociology.[3]

Mixed martial arts career

Ben Henderson held a 2-1 record as an amateur before turning pro in 2006, winning against Dan Gregary.[4] He lost his second fight after getting knocked down and finished with a combination of punches and elbows. After going 6-1, he would have his toughest fight against UFC veteran, Diego Saraiva. He dominated Saraiva for three rounds and came away with his seventh professional win. Three months later, Henderson made his World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) debut against Anthony Njokuani. Henderson defeated Njokuani after applying a guillotine choke early in round two. Henderson made his second appearance in the WEC at WEC 40 when he knocked out possible title contender, Shane Roller. Henderson was then given an opportunity to fight for the WEC interim lightweight title against Donald Cerrone. The fight was held as the main event for the WEC 43 card in Texas. Henderson won the fight after going five rounds with Cerrone and showed off his wrestling and amazing submission defense. He was put in several different submissions and showed a lot of flexibility by getting out of every attempt. WEC announcer, Frank Mir also said that Henderson might have some of the best cardio in the sport. Henderson and Cerrone won an additional 20,000 dollars for getting fight of the night.[5] The bout was also awarded 2009 Fight of the Year for all of MMA by[6]

Henderson went to the camp of B.J. Penn to help Penn prepare for his fight with Diego Sanchez at UFC 107.[7]

Henderson defeated Jamie Varner by Guillotine choke to unify the WEC Lightweight Championship at WEC 46 on January 10, 2010. The first round was a back and forth affair, showcasing Varner's boxing skills and Henderson's all around striking. Varner caught Henderson in a Guillotine choke but Henderson displayed his exceptional submission escapes and fought out of the choke. The second round was very even with both fighters landing strikes, with no definite advantage to either one. In the third round, Varner attempted a takedown. Henderson countered with a standing Guillotine choke ending the fight at 2:41 of the third round in favor of Henderson. [8]

Henderson is scheduled to make his first title defense in a rematch with Donald Cerrone on April 24, 2010 at WEC 48.[9]

Personal life

Ben Henderson has one older brother, Julius Henderson. He has the smallest waist in the WEC.[10]

Championships and accomplishments

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
    • 1st Place, Middle Purple, Arizona Grappling Challenge, October, 2008[11]
  • Wrestling
    • NAIA Collegiate All American (2 times)[3]
  • World Extreme Cagefighting
    • Interim WEC Lightweight Champion (1 time)
    • Fight of the Night (WEC 43 against Donald Cerrone)
    • WEC Lightweight Champion (1 time, Current)

Mixed martial arts record

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
United States Donald Cerrone WEC 48 02010-04-24 April 24, 2010 Sacramento, California, USA Defends WEC Lightweight Championship
Win United States Jamie Varner Submission (Guillotine Choke) WEC 46: Varner vs. Henderson 02010-01-10 January 10, 2010 3 2:41 Sacramento, California, USA Won undisputed WEC Lightweight Championship
Win United States Donald Cerrone Decision (Unanimous) WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson 02009-10-10 October 10, 2009 5 5:00 San Antonio, Texas, USA Won the Interim WEC Lightweight Championship.
Win United States Shane Roller KO (Punches) WEC 40: Torres vs. Mizugaki 02009-04-05 April 5, 2009 1 1:41 Chicago, Illinois, USA
Win Nigeria Anthony Njokuani Submission (Guillotine Choke) WEC 38: Varner vs. Cerrone 02009-01-25 January 25, 2009 2 0:42 San Diego, California, USA
Win Brazil Diego Saraiva Decision (Unanimous) EVO MMA 02008-10-04 October 4, 2008 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Win United States Ricardo Tirlone Submission (Guillotine Choke) MFC 17: Hostile Takeover 02008-07-25 July 25, 2008 2 3:49 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Win Canada Mike Maestas Submission (Rear Naked Choke) MFC 16: Anger Management 02008-05-09 May 9, 2008 3 4:11 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Win United States Brian Corley Submission (Rear Naked Choke) VFC 21: Infamous 02007-12-07 December 7, 2007 N/A N/A Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
Win Canada David Dagloria Submission (Punches) UCE: Round 26: Episode 12 02007-06-23 June 23, 2007 1 1:45 Ogden, Utah, USA
Win United States Allen Williams TKO (Punches) VFC 18: Hitmen 02007-02-16 February 16, 2007 1 1:37 Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
Loss United States Chad Klingensmith KO ROF 27: Collision Course 02006-12-09 December 9, 2006 2 1:47 Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
Win United States Dan Gregary Submission (Punches) MCF: Genesis 02006-11-18 November 18, 2006 1 4:21 North Platte, Nebraska, USA


External links

New title 1st WEC Interim Lightweight Champion
October 10, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Preceded by
Jamie Varner
6th WEC Lightweight Champion
January 10, 2010 - Present


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