Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion, Ben Henderson, ended his two-fight losing skid this past weekend (Sat., Feb. 14, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 60 in dramatic fashion, moving up to welterweight on two weeks notice and taking out the much bigger Brandon Thatch via fourth round submission.
Immediately after his win, a toothpick was seen surfacing out of Henderson's mouth. While it may not have been a surprise to many given his love for toothpicks, some were shocked to find out he had competed with the sharp object in his mouth the entire fight (again).
As dangerous as one might think it is, "Smooth" declared on "The MMA Hour" earlier this afternoon that taking on a much bigger man who is trying to beat the crap out of him is just as, if not more, dangerous. Plus, according to him, he isn't breaking any rules.
"I can't confirm or deny that. But, I will say I am pretty sure there aren't any rules or regulations forbidding against having a toothpick in your mouth (while you fight). I don't think it's illegal and I don't think it's against the rules. It's as dangerous for me to have a toothpick in my mouth as it is for me to go against a 200-pound guy that is going to punch my face hard or try to kick me in my face. I'm more worried about that to be honest. I'm more worried about the 200-pound man who is going to beat the crap out of me if I let him."
In fact, Henderson says he does it more often than people realize.
"No, I don't have any superstitions like that. I won the world title with the toothpick and I defended it without a toothpick. It all depends, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. It's a bad habit, I know I shouldn't do it. I do it everyday in practice and I do it for most or all of my fights. It is what it is."
And for those wondering if he's ever accidentally swallowed one, "Smooth" says he has, but not during a fight, rather trying to sneak out and surprise his mother.
On the heels of his latest revelation, Octagon-side officials will most likely again be on the lookout for Henderson's toothpicks prior to letting him proceed to the cage.
As far as his fight future, Henderson says he isn't sure at which weight class he'll fight next, revealing he's just interested in testing himself against the best and toughest each division has to offer.
Who do you want to see him (and his toothpick) fight next?