UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson isn't content with just competing with the few times allowed by the schedule of a UFC Champion. So he has taken to competing at the yearly Arizona Jiu Jitsu Open, which is quickly starting to attract some of the best talent in sport jiu jitsu.
Some readers may remember that Henderson was submitted last year at this tournament, but far from being discouraged the UFC champ took the loss in stride and has returned to the Open for a second try. Henderson is currently a brown belt under John Crouch, a Royce Gracie black belt since 2005 and head jiu jitsu coach at the MMA Lab.
In the finals Henderson would face Christian Broadnax, a very young and talented prospect. It would not be an easy match for Henderson as Broadnax was able to stop most of Henderson's takedown and nearly swept the UFC champ several times. It got heated at points, but in the end the competitors shook hands and embraced.
On a personal note this match is refreshing in a few ways. First it is fantastic to see a high level MMA fighter not afraid to put himself out there and compete at a high level in a component art of MMA. Also I very much enjoy BJJ matches were the fighters battle for a takedown and don't just simply go to a double guard pull.
For you hardcore grappling fans the absolute black belt finals featured Leandro Lo, the current world champion at Lightweight, and Augusto Tanquinho Mendes, the black belt no gi world champion.