Benson talks about proposal in the Octagon

by Chris Palmquist
April 22, 2013

Sometimes our sport is seen from the outside as violent, or even barbaric, but at the end of the day every MMA fighter is just a regular person with emotions and a life outside the cage. It's nice to be reminded of that, such as we we're on Saturday night when UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson proposed to his girlfriend in the Octagon following his fight with Gilbert Melendez. It was just one of those moments that made everyone feel good, and despite fighting another man in the cage for 25 minutes, Henderson was as nervous as any man would be. He spoke with ESPN about the proposal and how it transpired:

Henderson, who has been fighting out of Phoenix since 2006, said he's been planning the proposal for awhile. He and Magana have been dating for about three years.

"I was thinking of ideas to make it special. I thought about doing something in public, like after a fight," he said. "Then, I realized that I would need to be concentrating on the fight, and I was on a fence. I bought the ring, and I didn't tell anybody about this. I then decided to man up and ask."

What if you hadn't won?

"I don't know. I wasn't sure I was going to ask her or not. I know you still get interviewed if you don't win when you're the defending champion. But I don't know what I would have done."

Did you hear the pro-Melendez crowd booing?

"I heard afterward about the crowd. I was so nervous just asking. I didn't hear a single boo. I just heard her say 'Yes.'"

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