To get ahead, Ben Henderson (17-2) knew the best advice would come from those whose footsteps he's following. It seems to have paid off as Henderson is a former WEC lightweight champion and the current UFC lightweight champion.
"As a young guy, I knew I was going to make plenty of mistakes, so I wanted to pick the brains of the older guys," said Henderson to MMA Junkie.
Henderson cited B.J. Penn (16-8-2), Kenny Florian (14-6) and Rich Franklin (29-6-1 NC) for helping develop him into the fighter he is today.
Florian taught Henderson about life outside of the Octagon as he was currently out of action before officially retiring. Penn showed Henderson how to stay relevant as he had been with the UFC for 11 years. Franklin told him that he needs to watch how much time he spends training inside the gym as he gets older. He also offered advice about taking supplements, but Henderson wasn't keen on that idea.
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"Thanks to their insight, it helped me to become the fighter that I am," Henderson said. "If not for those pearls of wisdom from B.J. and Kenny Florian, I wouldn't be where I am now."
Since joining the UFC roster, Henderson earned three wins before winning their lightweight championship in February of this year against Frankie Edgar (14-3-1). He defended it in a rematch over the summer. Both wins went to the judges' scorecard. The first win was unanimous and the second a split decision.
Henderson returns at UFC on FOX 5 on December 8th from the KeyArena in Seattle to defend his title against Nate Diaz (11-5).
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