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Benson Henderson (born November 16, 1983) is an American mixed martial artist who competes for Bellator MMA, currently competing in their Lightweight division. He is a former UFC Lightweight Champion and WEC Lightweight Champion. He holds notable victories over Frankie Edgar (2x), Donald Cerrone (2x), Nate Diaz, Patrício Freire, and Jorge Masvidal, among others.
Henderson is a Christian and often refers to his faith in post-fight interviews. He has three sons and a daughter – Kyong, Kub and Koah – with his wife, Maria. Henderson proposed to his fiancée in the Octagon after his win over Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7.
Henderson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to a Korean mother and an African American father. Benson has an older brother, Julius, who was born in Korea. He was raised in Federal Way, Washington. When Henderson was approximately 9 years old, his mother, Song, insisted that he take Tae Kwon Do lessons with his brother. "She's Korean, I'm half-Korean, and it's the traditional Korean martial art, so she wanted us to do that to get a little bit of the culture and tradition," he says. Both Benson and his brother attained black belts in Tae Kwon Do. He attended Decatur High School from 1998 to 2001. Benson became a part of the high school's wrestling team. After graduating from high school, he attended Dana College in Blair, Nebraska and graduated in 2006 with a double major in criminal justice and sociology. While attending Dana College, Henderson was on the wrestling team, and was twice named an NAIA All-American. I don't drink—I've never had a sip of alcohol. I've never had a puff of a cigarette or weed or anything like that. Growing up in Tacoma, that wasn't a very popular choice. I made a decision, and whenever it came up, I passed the dutchie to the left hand side ... People have seen that. They see I don't do the club scene. By people seeing that, that affects them in a bigger way than me talking about it.
Movies & TV Series
UFC Fight Night 59: McGregor vs. Siver
UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver was a mixed martial arts event held on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
UFC Fight Night 60: Henderson vs. Thatch
UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch (also known as UFC Fight Night 60) was a mixed martial arts event held on February 14, 2015 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II
The UFC lightweight championship will be on the line at UFC 164 in Milwaukee on August 31 when "Smooth" Benson Henderson defends the belt for the fourth time in what promises to be an epic rematch aga...
UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez
UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez (or UFC on Fox 7) is a mixed martial arts event held on April 20, 2013 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle
UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle is an upcoming mixed martial arts event to be held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship on August 14, 2011 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event will be t...
UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields
UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields took place on April 30, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. The event broke the previous record and set a new one for the largest attendance in North American MMA history with over...
WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis
WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis was a mixed martial arts event held by World Extreme Cagefighting that took place on December 16, 2010 at Jobing.com Arena in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona. The ...
WEC 46: Varner vs. Henderson
The long-awaited World Extreme Cagefighting® lightweight title unification bout between reigning champion Jamie Varner and interim champion Ben Henderson will take place on Sunday, Jan. 10 at ARCO Are...