Benson Henderson doesn’t care how he wins when he defends his UFC lightweight title against Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 5 next week. The champ just wants to walk away with his hands raised.
Like late Oakland Raider owner Al Davis used to say, “Just win, baby.”
“As far as me facing Nate [Diaz] and how I gotta win, I’m just trying to get a W,” Henderson said on a recent media conference call. “I’m trying to get my hand raised however I can get it. If he slips on a banana peel, I’ll take it. If it’s a decisive victory, I’ll take it.”
Even the close victories are ones that Henderson will accept. His last two fights were razor-close decisions against Frankie Edgar — the second being closer than the first, according to “Bendo.” In those fights, it didn’t matter that he didn’t finish Edgar with a knockout or submission. Of course, he’d enjoy finishing his opponents, but that’s not easy to come by in today’s UFC, he said.
Fighting the MMA world’s elite just isn’t that easy.
“Getting a W is not easy to come by in the UFC, going against the best guys on the planet,” Henderson said. “I’ll take [the win] any way I can get it. That being said, I think all the fighters … fight to end fights, to be as decisive as possible. But sometimes, when you’re fighting the best guys on the planet, you can’t make it as easy as that.”
And if you think finishing a guy like Diaz is easy, think again. Henderson admits his opponent is tough — “darn tough,” he said. In fact, Bendo doesn’t want to be offensive and assume that he’d walk into Seattle’s Key Arena and easily knock Diaz out.
He wouldn’t think of saying such a preposterous thing.
“It’d be kind of offensive if I just said ‘I’m going to go in there and knock out Nate Diaz,'” he said. “No, I’m not going to say that.”
Much like he did against Edgar, Henderson will walk into the octagon and headline a fight card with high hopes. Will he get the knockout? Maybe. Will he get the submission? Hard to do against a Cesar Gracie-trained fighter, but don’t count anything out.
Ultimately, it goes back to the idea that getting the win however he can get it is the best way to go. If he ends up in the win column with his second consecutive successful title defense, that’s all that matters in the long rung.
“I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to get my hand raised any way possible,” he said.
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