Ben and the secret to becoming UFC champion

Ben on Clay Guida's back / Photo: UFC

Former WEC champion Ben Henderson will now get his shot at Frankie Edgar’s UFC lightweight belt. The bout was announced just after he beat Clay Guida at UFC on Fox, and the promotion’s February return to Japan will be the occasion. Edgar has been leaving audiences in awe, even UFC president Dana White picks him as the second-best fighter around at the moment, just behind Anderson Silva. However, as Ben told our reporter Deb Blyth in GRACIEMAG 176, when you believe, you can do anything.

“Having faith is what helps me. How I walk around, how I act, how I conduct myself is all a part of that faith. Some guys are afraid to lose. I don’t have that fear. I can open my heart and lay it out on the line.”

And that was just how the fighter born in Washington state blazed his trail to 15 career wins and one loss.

“We were all sitting around talking, and they said I’d never get in the cage. I was like, ‘Oh really?’

“I talked a big game and had to back it up, and I won the fight on a TKO ref stoppage. I took him down and threw some ugly hammer fists. I had no idea what I was doing. You should have seen my jab… it was pretty atrocious! But afterwards I thought, ‘Okay, I think I’m going to try this as a career.’”

Since that first fight, Ben went on to dedicate himself to learning other styles and developed tremendous Jiu-Jitsu skills. Henderson, now a brown belt, is a regular at gi Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and even won bronze at this year’s World Championship. Does he have what it takes to stop Edgar?

“Plain and simple, I want to be the best UFC fighter on the planet, period. Most people haven’t seen how good I can be.”

To be sure never to miss the profiles and interviews with rising and current UFC stars every month in the CHOKE MMA supplement, get your GRACIEMAG subscription here.

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