UFC lightweight champion, Ben Henderson, is arguably the most successful WEC entry into the promotion. “Smooth” grabbed the lightweight strap less than a year after his UFC debut, but he isn’t quite yet one of the big names in the promotion.
Henderson understands marketing is a crucial part of being successful in MMA, and he had some interesting things to say about the best salesman in the UFC, Chael Sonnen.
“He knows it’s a promotional game,” Ben Henderson said during a conversation with MMAjunkie.com. “He is of average speed, average athletic-wise, white guy, average-looking, and he wrestles guys. He holds guys down – that’s his game. Who wants to see that? That’s not a super-marketable [style]. But as soon as he starts talking, he’s very marketable. And he knows that.”
Henderson is currently set to defend his lightweight title against Nate Diaz at “UFC on Fox 5,” and many expect the latter to give the champion a serious challenge.
The two will meet on Dec. 8, at the Key Arena in Seattle, Wash. The event will be broadcast live on Fox.
Marketing is definitely a big part of having a successful MMA career, but the ability to consistently win fights still plays a bigger role. Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre are two of the biggest names in the promotion, yet, neither man is exceptional at selling fights. They’re not really big on talking trash to their opponents, but they still pull in some of the best Pay-Per-View numbers for the promotion, simply because fans always want to watch the best fighters in the world fight, even if there isn’t an interesting back-story.
Henderson’s will be better off worrying about his fight against Diaz, considering the fact the Stockton native has dispatched his last three opponents in impressive fashion. Nate has all the tools needed to dethrone Henderson, and I expect fireworks when the two meet inside Octagon.
If Ben Henderson continues to pile up wins inside the Octagon, UFC fans won’t care about his style being a bit wrestling-heavy.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.