Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson was fired up immediately after his submission win Saturday over Rustam Khabilov. “Say something now. I’m talking to you. Say something now," Henderson shouted, seemingly at the media section.
Despite his stellar record, a hard-fighting and pressing style, and having recently been the champion of perhaps the UFC's most competitive division, Henderson has often heard and read snide criticism from observers simply because he often has had to usually settle for decision wins instead of knockouts or submissions.
After getting a chance to cool down, Henderson said he's tired of the media's "tricks," and - presumably, our baseless criticisms. “I do my talking inside the Octagon,” Henderson said.
“A lot of times, your guys’ job is to tell a story and say this and say that, and you want us to say this and say that...I’m on to your guys’ tricks. Don’t doubt. We’re fighters. We’re smart guys, too. We’re not all neanderthals. So I’m on to your guys’ tricks, trying to get us to say this and say that, and I just want to reiterate, I do my talking inside the Octagon. So if any story you want to write, anything you want to say, judge it off my time inside the Octagon.”
Of course, Henderson believes that his work inside of the ring deserves recognition. "Smooth" has won nine out of his last ten, though close and controversial decisions over the likes of Josh Thomson, Frankie Edgar and Gilbert Melendez, have brought critics out of the woodwork.
“Getting the ‘W’ is the same as all the other ‘Ws,’” he explained.
“I’m just after good performances, whether it’s a submission or its a knockout, sometimes you guys in the media don’t understand what it is to win. Like, I don’t know how many times you guys have competed at a high level wrestling or tennis or football in high school or something like that. But you’re after good performances, whether you get a knockout off of it or a submission off of it."
It seemed that Henderson was trying to get a world of non-fighters in the form of most fans and members of the media, to understand that he always gives it his all during training camps and in fights. Despite that effort, however, often times fights will be close when you fight the best in the world each and every time out.
“[Saturday], I was able to have a good performance," he concluded.
"Sometimes you get finishes, [and] sometimes you don’t. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, I guess."