Riding a 10 fight winning streak with
wins over Jamie Varner, Donald Cerrone, Shane Roller and Anthony Njokuani,
WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson doesn’t seem to be slowing down
anytime soon. We caught up with him to discuss his rise to the top.
Mike: What’s up Champ? How does it feel to unify
those belts, and be the WEC title holder?
Henderson: It feels great to be winning against such tough competition.
The WEC has given me a great opportunity and my team helped me make
the most of it.
Mike: Could you give us your thoughts on how
the fight with Jaime Varner went?
Henderson: My game plan was to keep scoring and keep pressing without
getting into big exchanges early on. We knew Varner would fade going
into the later rounds and I wanted to be as fresh as possible to capitalize
on any mistake he might make.
Mike: What about his post fight comments? Were
you surprised at all by what was said? (“He came to grapple, I came
to fight”) When he was the one initiating takedowns and submission attempts
of his own?
Henderson: I come to win. I am not looking to display a specific style
in my MMA fights, I train MMA. That is wrestling, submissions, kicks,
punches and whatever else you have to win. I do not hold his comments
against Jamie. He has always been nice to me.
Mike: Your next match up is Donald Cerrone. How
do you feel this fight will be different from the first fight?
Henderson: I think both of us will be looking for a finish. I know my
game plan does not include leaving it into the judge’s hands. We know
Donald will come out fast and early this time, so we will be ready right
when the bell rings. I suspect he is not thinking about submitting me
but trying to knock me out. I am excited to be on the 1st PPV and to
be able to be fighting a guy as talented and aggressive as Donald is.
Mike: Could you also give us your thoughts on
the first fight you had with Donald Cerrone?
Henderson: It was a tough fight and I learned a lot about myself and
Donald. We can run that back any time.
Mike: How do you see this next fight against
Henderson: I am going to say round two. I will leave the way it finishes
in the Lords hands. The last fight was too close to call and the fans
deserve to walk out of the arena knowing they saw a great fight and
a clear winner. Donald wants to be the champion, to be a true champion
I have to defend this belt at least once, and why not defend it against
the very best the division has to offer.
Mike: So after a big win like the last one, what
do you do to celebrate after? Take some time off and relax, maybe go
on a vacation?
Henderson: I went to visit my Mom in Federal Way WA. She owns a grocery
store and I spent a lot of time (17 hour days) helping her with her
store, eating some amazing Korean food, visiting with my friends and
sleeping. After that I went to CA to spend time with my Fiancée and
her family and I intend to hit the gym and start training again.
Mike: Where are you training now, and who are
some of the guys that prepare you for your fights?
Henderson: I train at The Lab in Glendale AZ. It is the nicest gym in
Arizona and has some great up and coming fighters and great caches.
John Crouch is my head trainer.
Mike: Having fought both... if the “Cowboy” and
Varner have a rematch (which seems likely) who do you think will take
Henderson: I really have no say in the matter, so I do not care. Having
won the legitimate belt from Jamie with a finish, I think they all need
to work and earn the opportunity to fight for my belt. I had to fight
through some of the toughest guys in the land for my shot, I hope they
Mike: Do you have any plans of trying to move
into the UFC at some point? And if so… is there one fight there that
you would like to start out with? Maybe someone you feel would make
for a fun fight or someone you would like to test yourself with?
Henderson: I really only want to fight the best fighters in the world.
There happens to be a lot of them in the UFC 155 division, so of course
I would love to fight a lot of those guys. The WEC is a full time job
and until I have put my exclamation mark on this division, I have no
business looking for tough
fights. I want to be one of the best fighters in the World, that means
a lot of work and time ahead of me.
Mike: How did you get the nickname “Smooth”?
Henderson: Nicknames pick you in this sport. My coaches gave it to me
and it just stuck.
Mike: Does your hair ever bother you, or get
in the way in a fight?
Henderson: Not really, I train so much that it is just a part of the
Mike: And speaking of hair… best hair in MMA.
You, Clay Guida, Dan Hardy, or Liddell?
Henderson: Does Chuck have hair? I think Clay has the best hair do.
Mike: Last one. If they made a movie about your
life... who would you want to play the
character of Ben Henderson?
Henderson: I would hope it would be a comic book movie and I could play
Mike: Anything you’d like to add?
Henderson: Thanks to the LORD and all of my fans. I want to thank The
Lab and MTX Audio for their support. My manager Jason Genet who has
done amazing things for me and all my opponents who bring exciting fights
to participate in.