Ben Henderson and the Toothpick of Discord at UFC on FOX 5

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Hendo com o palito durante a luta contra Nate Diaz (Foto: Reprodução)

Lightweight champion Ben Henderson and his inseparable toothpick while defending his title from Nate Diaz. / Screenshot from TV broadcast

There are mixed opinions as to which of the following was the highlight of UFC on FOX 5 last Dec. 8 in Seattle: Ben Henderson’s impeccable performance, Rory MacDonald’s drubbing of B.J. Penn, Gustafsson’s one-sided win over Shogun Rua, or Yves Edwards’ highlight reel knockout.

However, the title for biggest controversy of the event goes to Henderson for having fought with his mouth full.

At the event’s post-press conference, Henderson didn’t shy away from commenting on whether he had fought Nate Diaz with his signature toothpick in his mouth. Speculation gave way to certainty when freeze-framed images from the event appeared on the internet, clearly revealing a toothpick in the champ’s mouth during the fight.

“Look, I may have fought with one. I tend to keep a toothpick in my mouth during training and it’s never caused me any problems,” said Ben, who quickly changed tack when he heard the words “illegal” and “Athletic Commission” being mentioned. “Shoot, I didn’t have a toothpick in my mouth. I was just kidding, you guys,” he backtracked.

In an interview on Fuel TV, UFC president Dana White was scathing in his comments about the occurrence.

“That was the craziest thing I’ve seen in my whole life! It’s illegal, and it’s not funny. I think the Athletic Commission will be paying more attention to that from now on,” said White.

Written by Carlos Arthur Jr.

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