Benson Henderson: There is a blue print to beat Nate Diaz
“Every time a fighter does what they’re supposed to do, and improves and gets better every fight, I wouldn’t say the blueprint goes out the window, but it can be harder to execute the blueprint,” Henderson steadily explains. “Guys leave holes open in their game. Those holes get smaller if you do what you’re supposed to do and get better from fight to fight. Nate Diaz has shown a big improvement from his early years in the UFC and he’s made those holes a lot smaller, but I think the blueprint is definitely still out there on how to beat Nate. It’s not just, ‘Oh, we think you’ve got to do this. We think you’ve got to do this.’ No, if you want to beat him, you’ve got to do A, B, C, and D. And then you beat him. Period. You’re done.”
Of course, the most notorious aspect of that blueprint is also the biggest boon to the Diaz brothers’ mystique. The insults, the wild in-fight taunting and flipping of the bird across the cage; while some see it as unprofessional, it’s hard to argue with its effectiveness. Just ask Cerrone, who admits Diaz buried deep into his head before the two could ever even lace up their gloves. “I am mentally preparing myself to deal with that,” Henderson concedes. “Nate and Nick, the whole scrap pack team, they do a good job of getting inside other fighters’ heads, whether it’s their body language, whether it’s their words or whatever the case may be.
“It works well for them. I’m definitely preparing myself mentally to face that, and when I do face that, act accordingly. I don’t intend on it affecting me. I don’t intend on going out there and being all mad, all of a sudden getting emotional.”