Escaping from dangerous and near fight-ending situations on more than one occasion throughout his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt has shown he can hang with the best of them when it comes to the grappling department.
When he steps inside the Octagon on Dec. 8, 2012, at UFC on Fox 5, he will stare across the cage at perhaps the most talented mat technician he has ever faced in Nate Diaz. Holding a black belt in the discipline under Cesar Gracie, Diaz has displayed his submission skills time after time, submitting some of the best the UFC has to offer such as Jim Miller, Takanori Gomi and Melvin Guillard, just to name a few.
And submission attempts are often Diaz's secondary options when his effective stand up isn't quite doing the trick.
Though Henderson is more than confident he can escape from just about any submission attempt, he knows staying away from said positions in first place against an opponent like Diaz, is the best route to take.
From his conversation with MMA Interviews:
"I think we will find out. He's tough, he's a great fighter, he's proven himself over and over again. He earned the number one contendership. So, when we go inside, when we get inside that cage, we'll find out, we will see. I think a lot of times, I'm a bit lackadaisical when I train, knowing I can get out of this position and I can survive or something like that. But, I know against Nate, I would rather not be in that position in the first place. I don't want to have to defend. I want to defend earlier to not be put there in the first place."
Since making the jump over to the ranks of the UFC after World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) folded, "Bendo" hasn't tasted defeat, racking up five straight wins inside the Octagon, including back-to-back victories over former 155-pound champion, Frankie Edgar, on his way to capturing the gold.
As he looks to defend his title for the second time, he will have his hands full against a man who isn't opposed to the stand-up game (See UFC 141 fight against Donald Cerrone), but whose specialty lies in the ground game, as evidenced by his four "Submission of the Night" awards.
How about it Maniacs, can Diaz be the first man to ever submit Henderson in the UFC on his way to capturing his first-ever UFC world title? Or can Henderson find a way out of what is sure to be multiple submission attempts from the scrappy 209-er?