Four weeks out from UFC on Fox, champ Benson Henderson tabbed to compete at 2013 Pan

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IRVINE, Calif. — UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will compete at the 2013 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Tournament this weekend, IBJJF officials told on Friday.

Henderson is registered to participate in the tournament’s brown belt middle division on Sunday, March 24, less than four weeks away from his UFC on Fox 7 title defense against former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.

With the Pan, Henderson competes in his second Jiu-Jitsu tournament in less than a month. He entered the 8th Arizona Open earlier in March, winning two gold medals in the process.

“It’s great to test myself here,” Henderson told in Arizona earlier this month. “It helps me to keep my drive and my competitive spirit going.”

A UFC official told on Friday that they have no issues with “Bendo” participating in the grappling tournament. They added that the organization does not object to its athletes competing in grappling competitions.

Representatives for Henderson did not return calls or emails requesting comment at the time of this publication.

After the 2013 Pan, Henderson defends his UFC title on April 20 in San Jose, Calif. at the HP Pavilion. Henderson and Melendez headline the card, which includes a co-main event between Strikeforce Heavyweight GP winner Daniel Cormier and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.

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