BENSON HENDERSON

Asian Hall of Fame – Class of 2015

Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, Former UFC and WEC Lightweight Champion

Born in Colorado Springs, raised in Federal Way, Washington, Benson Henderson is one of the biggest names in the world of mixed martial arts.

Henderson’s career started early when his Korean-American mother encouraged him and his brother
to take Tae Kwon Do lessons as a way to connect with their heritage. Both sons attained black belts
in Tae Kwon Do, and Henderson diversified his mastery by wrestling in both high school and college.

In 2006, Henderson became a professional mixed martial arts fighter, winning most of his early matches including a tough fight against UFC veteran Diego Saraiva. A few months later, he made his World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) debut, beating opponent Anthony Njokuani early in round two. On January 10, 2010, Henderson defeated Jamie Varner for the WEC Lightweight Championship.

When the WEC merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Henderson continued his success with a string of wins, numerous Fight of the Night honors, the distinction in 2013 of being tied for the highest number of title defenses as a lightweight, and his first Performance of the Night bonus award in 2014. Henderson was awarded 2009 Fight of the Year for his bout with Donald Cerrone – a recognition that encompasses all of the venues of MMA.

Henderson is a proud Christian and shares his beliefs through his sport. He is married to wife Maria Magana and resides in Phoenix, Arizona.