Glendale resident 'Smooth' Benson Henderson ready to defend UFC title ... again

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 17 at 11:40 AM

PHOENIX -- Fresh off defending his UFC 150 title just a week ago, Glendale resident "Smooth" Benson Henderson is already gearing up for his next match.

Henderson (@BensonHenderson on Twitter) stopped by 3TV's studio Friday morning to chat with Stella Inger and Scott Pasmore.

With a UFC record of 16-2-0, Henderson became a star relatively quickly. His first UFC fight was just over a year ago in April 2011.

Known as a great all-around fighter who keeps to a pure lifestyle -- he's never had even a sip of alcohol, nor has he tried tobacco or drugs -- Henderson got into fighting almost as a fluke. He was coaching wrestling at his alma mater, Dana College, when his friends issued a challenge.

"I took a fight on a whim because my friends didn't think I would do it," he said on the UFC website.

"I had to back it up," he told Inger and Pasmore. "The next thing I know I'm inside a cage with some guy trying to beat me up."

That was 2006. He's come a long way since, taking the UFC lightweight title last year and defending it this year. He's also a former WEC Lightweight Champion, two-time NAIA Collegiate All-American wrestler, and he holds a black belt in taekwondo, and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Henderson's next fight is Dec. 8. He'll once again defend his title, facing off against Nate Diaz.

While he's not in training yet -- he still needs to completely recover from last weekend's fight -- he knows exactly what he needs to do and how to prepare -- both physically and mentally.

Henderson said he looks at his fights like any other sporting competition and has nothing by respect for his opponents.

"I try to make Phoenix, try to make Glendale proud," he said. "Hopefully I do a good job and hopefully I can continue doing a good job."

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