Ben Henderson Not Giving Up Toothpicks: I Do It Everyday In Practice

Ben Henderson

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson picked up one of his biggest-ever victories when he submitted touted welterweight Brandon Thatch in the main event of last Saturday night’s (February 14, 2015) UFC Fight Night 60 from the 1STBANK Center in Colorado.

But even more amazing than ‘Smooth’ picking up a come-from-behind win over a massive opponent at a higher weight class on short notice was the fact that he did it with his now-infamous toothpick in his mouth. He’s made waves by fighting with them before, but never to this extent.

Speaking on The MMA Hour today, ‘Smooth’ offered his view that it isn’t illegal, and it certainly isn’t as dangerous as fighting 200-pound beasts like Thatch:

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“I don’t think it’s illegal. I don’t think it’s against the rules. It’s as dangerous for me to have a toothpick in your mouth as it is to have a 200-pound man punch me in the face hard or try to kick me in the face. I’m more worried about that, to be honest.”

Perhaps Henderson has a good point there, yet his infatuation with toothpicks has grown into something of a spectacle for those that follow MMA closely. Despite his tendency to fight with them in his lip or cheek, he insisted it isn’t a superstition:

“I don’t have any superstitions,” Henderson said. “I won world titles with a toothpick. I defended it without a toothpick. It all depends. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t. It’s a bad habit. I know I shouldn’t do it, but it’s fine.”

The perceived dangers of fighting with a toothpick just don’t seem to matter to Henderson all that much, however. He admitted that he both trains and fights with them on a regular basis:

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“I do it everyday in practice,” Henderson said. “I’ve done it most of my fights.”

They haven’t caused him any adverse affects just yet, so they’re here to stay. Do you think they present a danger to ‘Smooth’s’ in-cage health, or are they simply not that big of a deal?