UFC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson may be the best scrap metal pulled from the now shredded World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). The man going by the nickname “Smooth” has technically dissembled ever opponent he has faced so far – gripping and defending the WFC’s world championship in barely a year.
While taking two close decision victories over fan-favorite Frankie Edgar, he didn’t turn too many heads – half of the mixed martial arts (MMA) populace thought he should have been defeated.
Henderson is aware he needs to make a statement, he needs to make his opponents crumble, fans cheer. He needs to market, to promote. That is the outside-the-ring job for an MMA fighter.
Henderson recently expressed his admiration for Chael Sonnen’s marketing ability. Sonnen’s loud mouth and unsettled hype earned him an undeserved beating by Jon Jones just a week ago. Henderson doesn’t attract this national television, mainstream hype that Sonnen does. That is the blockade between Henderson and superstar.
Henderson scored a hard fought victory over Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 5 in December – Diaz was left on the ground for a pummeling, it’s the easy way to avoid his recognized striking skills. Henderson then battled to a controversial split-decision over Gilbert Melendez – the luck continues.
While marketing is vital for flowing on the world level stage, The bottom line is Henderson is an intelligent mixed martial arts fighter with the ability to shed off win-to-win. He doesn’t talk smack, he doesn’t score brutal knockouts – he wins fights!
There is a popular consensus that you must rave fans to remain an elite MMA fighter. I guide you to Georges St-Pierre. GSP prefers a lay n’ prey type technique, but he racks up the wins.
Henderson has the same base. Keep the wins coming, the fans will follow.
Original article by David King
Rewritten by Corey Quincy