Coach: Thomson was playing points more than Benson


Benson Henderson's coach John Crouch appeared recently on The MMA Hour and discussed Henderson's razor-think and controversial win over Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 10 on Saturday.

"In my mind, he was definitely playing more of a points game than we were," said Crouch, as transcribed by MMAFighting. "He was trying to win the rounds. He was trying to win according to the judges' scorecard."

"I honestly, I don't understand the uproar. I thought we won the fight clearly. We lost the first. After that, Josh got some great takedowns, he's really tricky in the clinch, he's got some great trips and he's got some really great highlights against Gilbert with those trips. But he didn't do anything. I don't feel like Josh ever tried to finish the fight, not once. Benson has taken a lot of criticism for not trying to finish, but I feel like we were the aggressor the whole time. Honestly, that's what led us to make a couple of mistakes to give up positions, was trying to be aggressive. So I didn't really think it was questionable."

UFC president Dana White was asked post-fight if the win Saturday would earn Henderson a title shot.

"No," said White. "But, I mean, that was a Ben Henderson fight. When Ben Henderson has the title, or he's trying to get back to the title, that's a Ben Henderson fight. I mean, we've seen that fight a million times.

"It's not about even being more aggressive. He's a talented fighter. He's just one of these guys -- he's a grinder, he's not a finisher."

Crouch responded.

"Dana doesn't like us too much," said the coach. "Benson's never gotten to sit at the cool table, you know? And I think it's unfortunate because he's a great dude, and he works super hard. Not that other people don't, but you know Ben, you've been around him. He's nothing but just a humble great guy, and he works his butt off. So I'm not surprised by the backlash, but I am disappointed by it, certainly."

"I don't know if he doesn't like Ben, but he's certainly not a fan of how Ben wins his fights."

"I think he said it a few times, hasn't he? Grinding it out, Benson Henderson style fight. Winning close decisions. He said that, and you know, everybody would love to have finishes. God, it'd be great. If somebody could show me how to make his left hand explode people's heads when he threw it, it'd be awesome. Let's do that."

"When you play in the NFL, you don't always win 70-0. Sometimes you win in overtime when the other guy fumbles the snap and you kick a field goal that bounces off the uprights. Sometimes you win those games, and you've got to take those games as well as the big ones. So it's just a little frustrating to hear him get that criticism."

"We're fighting the best people in the world over and over again. Still nobody's finished Frankie Edgar, right? And Gilbert Melendez, same thing. All the last guys we've fought.

"Benson isn't really one of those loud, talky guys. It's just not him. So some of the people get more press and more attention, which is fine with him -- and that's honestly fine with me because it leaves us to train -- but I feel like it doesn't give him the proper amount of respect.

"Like, it wasn't Josh's problem that the fight didn't go in an exciting fashion? It was our fault, right? We didn't do enough to do what we were supposed to do? In my mind, Josh was the one who fought a more technical, point-oriented fight. Maybe it was because of his hand was hurt. There's reasons for it -- I'm not saying it was a bad strategy, it almost worked. But it's just, you know, I'd like to see Benson get the love that other people get too, that's all."

"Sometimes it's tough as a trainer. You see the guys sweat, you see them bleed, and they're doing everything they can. And not just my guy. Like when GSP and Johny Hendricks went down, man, the guy can't do anything more than his best. That's it. What do you want him to do?

"Jon Fitch was in trouble for doing it. Jon Fitch was great. What are you supposed to do, he's not a knockout guy? It's frustrating for me that that's such an integral part of our sport. I know people want to see knockouts. I know they love to see people just get in there and go crazy, but man, that's not smart fighting. Your career doesn't last very long when you're one of those guys. You get ‘Fight of the Night' bonus, and your record in the UFC is 1-3, and then you're fighting for $2,000 at some local show. That's it. Then you never go back, and you have all these bad habits and you don't fight smart. Some guys are great at it, and that's great, more power to them. But that's a hard way to go, and you have to have some natural gifts to be able to do that."

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Recent Comments »

PrettyBoy site profile image  

1/29/14 1:13 PM by PrettyBoy

He had a broken hand of course he was trying to win the rounds.

GriffinQ site profile image  

1/29/14 7:33 AM by GriffinQ

Instead of discussing the scores(which has happened on every thread since that fight), I'll just point out that you could tell during that interview how much Crouch cares about Bendo, and how personally he takes it every time Bendo gets snubbed.I don't think Benson would say these things. He seems to always just brush off the criticism, even if he looks uncomfortable when it comes up. But you can see how seriously he takes this shit after both Pettis losses. Choked up both times, didn't want to talk at all. I dunno, I just think it's interesting. A lot of guys don't seem to take the sport as seriously as these two do, yet Benson gets more criticism than almost anyone.

FinestScotch site profile image  

1/29/14 5:04 AM by FinestScotch

No, you're more boring! No you are!

VinegarStrokes site profile image  

1/28/14 10:47 PM by VinegarStrokes

Ben didn't threaten anything? Josh never had a single threatening sub attempt. Ben had the arm triangle that was pretty close at one point. It was the only significant attempt at a sub all fight.

Wasa-B site profile image  

1/28/14 10:05 PM by Wasa-B

Yeah, ditto raags, good post. Esp on highlight the fact that he got taken down because he was committing (over committing to those attacks even when Riggs told him to not step in as much too).

Lick Boners site profile image  

1/28/14 8:02 PM by Lick Boners

Great post raags, some people are just so delusional with their hate. VU.

raags site profile image  

1/28/14 7:31 PM by raags

I feel Thomson won the fight (48-47, I think I scored 1, 2, and 4 for Josh) but I haven't rewatched it yet.That said, Benson did more to finish, came closer to finishing, and the constant criticism he gets as a point fighter is completely unwarranted.Benson has fought some extremely high level opponents who are very evenly matched with him in every facet of the game - Melendez, Edgar, and Thomson are all guys with great wrestling and great striking, just like Benson. The story of most of these fights has been each guy being very evenly matched with Benson and really neither fighter dominating any aspect of the fight (aside from Benson beating up Frankie in the first fight).Benson is very frequently taking risks and does not really look to play it safe. He constantly pushes the pace and throws a wide variety of strikes, commits heavily to them (see - Thomson's TD successes). He doesn't have huge power but to say he is a point fighter is completely off-base. Did you see how he fucking annihilated Nate Diaz? His fights vs. Miller, Bocek, and Guida? Benson is an aggressive grinder with tremendous cardio, somewhat like Cain - just less effective and with less power. This combined with the fact that he has fought extremely tough guys with stellar cardio, great game plans (Thomson, Melendez, Edgar II) who do not break easily and are very durable just means he has not put out dominating victories. I feel that he lost the Melendez and Thomson fights, but that doesn't mean he wasn't looking to finish, or that he was playing it safe.

knee smash site profile image  

1/28/14 3:08 PM by knee smash

Josh did not land a single significant strike in the entire fight

Wasa-B site profile image  

1/28/14 3:03 PM by Wasa-B

Its not like i wouldnt wanna see him step it up a bit more but he came at Josh at lot with those lunging body shots and flying knees. I guess most of the UG expects him to tee off with 10-20 bombs each time to be more exciting.

Wasa-B site profile image  

1/28/14 2:59 PM by Wasa-B

1a1, RFLAG, I agree.Ben has never been a great finisher but had some and was pretty "go for it" coming up to the title. But now, he's more experienced and fighting only top guys. It takes 2 to tango and you can fight like a tard at that level.