Lightweight champ Ben Henderson talks in-ring proposal at UFC On Fox 7

Photo via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Only seconds after the official announcement of his 3rd title defense, Ben Henderson got down on one knee in the Octagon to propose to his girlfriend. He told ESPN that he was "on the fence" about proposing after the fight before deciding to "man up."

As has become his wont, Ben Henderson retained his Lightweight title at UFC On Fox 7 with a very close split-decision victory over Gilbert Melendez. After 25 minutes of action, two of the three judges scored the fight for Henderson 3 rounds to 2, much to the chagrin of Melendez's hometown crowd. Before the traitional post-fight interview, Ben interrupted Joe Rogan saying, "I gotta go see about a girl" and proposed to his wife in the Octagon.

Following the fight, Ben spoke to ESPN about what was going through his head at the time (via BJPenn.com):

According to Henderson, he had been "thinking of ideas to make [the proposal] special. I thought about doing something in public, like after a fight. Then I realized that I would need to be concentrating on the fight, and I was on a fence. I bought the ring, and I didn't tell anybody about this. I then decided to man up and ask."

He said of the crowd of over 13,000, many of whom vocally supported his opponent, local fighter Melendez, "I heard afterward about the crowd. I was so nervous just asking. I didn't hear a single boo. I just heard her say ‘Yes.'"

When asked if he would still have proposed having lost the fight, the champion was unsure. "I don't know," he said. "I wasn't sure I was going to ask her or not. I know you still get interviewed if you don't win when you're the defending champion. But I don't know what I would have done."

The couple does not yet have a date set for the wedding, nor does the champion have his next challenger scheduled. With his 3rd successful title defense under his belt, Henderson tied the record set by former Lightweight king B.J. Penn. Both Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo are hoping to be the next to face Ben after their fight at UFC 163 on August 3 in Brazil.

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