This Week’s MMA Birthdays: Benson Henderson Turns 30

By Brian Knapp Nov 9, 2013
Benson “Smooth” Henderson turns 30 this week. | Photo: Dave Mandel/

The fifth lightweight titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history, Benson Henderson will celebrate his 30th birthday on Nov. 16.

Henderson -- who won his first seven fights inside the Octagon -- held the UFC lightweight crown from Feb. 26, 2012 until Aug. 31, 2013, his 552 days as champion representing the third longest reign in history behind only B.J. Penn (812) and Frankie Edgar (687). Born on Nov. 16, 1983 in Colorado Springs, Colo., “Smooth” holds the rank of black belt in tae kwon do and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Based at the MMA Lab in Arizona, Henderson trains under John Crouch, a protégé of UFC hall of famer Royce Gracie. He last appeared at UFC 164 in August, when he submitted to an Anthony Pettis armbar at the BMO Harris Center in Milwaukee, relinquishing his hold over the 155-pound division. Henderson wrestled collegiately at Dana College in Blair, Neb., where he was a two-time NAIA All-American.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday the week covering Nov. 10-Nov. 16:

NOV. 10

Josh Barnett (36)
Katsuaki Furuki (33)
Francis Carmont (32)

NOV. 12

Aaron Brink (39)
Lee Murray (36)
Rudy Bears (35)
Thiago Silva (31)
Jorge Masvidal (29)
Arianny Celeste (28)

NOV. 13

John Hosman (33)
Jared Hess (30)

NOV. 14

Stephen Bass (31)

NOV. 16

Delson Heleno (36)
Benson Henderson (30)
Tatsumitsu Wada (25)

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