It is probably well known around these parts that I love Ben Henderson. When I first came back from Iraq, I looked into joining a MMA gym, and found the MMA Lab. It was a highly touted school, and had fighters like Alvin Robinson and Del Hawkins training there. But there was also this long haired buff dude on the flyer as well, Mr. Benson Henderson himself. I would see Ben around the weight room, he was teaching the first BJJ class that I attended there (where I wrecked my back attempting a flying armbar, but that story’s for a different time), and I would chat with him on occasion. I rooted for him when he fought in the MFC, when AZ put on their own MMA show in EVO MMA, when he got the call to fight in the WEC, when he won the WEC belt, when he lost the WEC belt, when he began his reign in the UFC, I will always stick by Ben’s side. And when the rematch was scheduled, I could not wait to see this event, but unfortunately Ben, I can’t watch you this weekend.
As big of a fan that I am of yours Ben, I’m a bigger fan of my daughter, and spending time with her. It is my last weekend in Oregon before I move back to AZ, and this will be my last weekend with my daughter before she moves down there as well. She will be there in a month or two, but I’m already feeling the affects of not seeing her every weekend. Normally, she is right there with me cheering you on while we watch the fights. She’s sees your picture on fight posters and screams, “Dad look! There’s Ben!!!” She enjoys your fights, and I tell her how good of a person you are, but this weekend we can’t watch the fight. I don’t have cable up here or know enough people to chill and watch the fights with like I do in AZ, so normally we go to Hooters (no age limit and no charge) to enjoy wings and watch the PPV events. We show up early to get a booth, and I pull out my backpack and lay out all of her crayons and coloring books and paints and crafts to entertain her, and when you’re fighting, she stops coloring and roots for you as loud as I do. But this Saturday I can’t.
This Saturday I need to paint her nails and let her paint mine. I need to wrestle around with her and have her work on her punching combos. I need to work on her French braid and let her hairspray and do up my hair. We need to watch goofy movies and laugh and make fun of each other. When she finally tuckers out, I will check my phone and pray that you have the belt still, and when she wakes up, I will tell her you won and how proud we are of you. We have your back Ben, would love to watch it live, but she has priority, and we will still be rooting for you. Make us proud Ben, I’m sure we’ll catch it on DVD soon and talk about how awesome you are man. Best of luck from the both of us!!