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  • 01-28-2014, 09:57 AM
    Cat--Smasher
    Benson Henderson's coach: 'Josh Thomson was definitely playing more of a points game than we were'
    "In my mind, [Thomson] was definitely playing more of a points game than we were. He was trying to win the rounds. He was trying to win according to the judges' scorecard," Crouch said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

    "I honestly, I don't understand the uproar. I thought we won the fight clearly. We lost the first (round). 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 (Melendez) 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."
    "Dana doesn't like us too much," Crouch told host Ariel Helwani in response to White's comments. "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."

    Crouch was then asked to elaborate on whether he truly believes White dislikes Henderson. "I don't know if he doesn't like Ben, but he's certainly not a fan of how Ben wins his fights," Crouch replied.

    "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," Crouch later added. "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."

    For all it's idiosyncrasies, Henderson's title reign currently sits atop the heap, tied with B.J. Penn for the most statistically impressive championship run in UFC lightweight history.

    Yet the stigma of close battles with Frankie Edgar and Gilbert Melendez still linger for Henderson. Now the addition of another controversial win, this time over Thomson, only adds fuel to his critics' fire.

    "We're fighting the best people in the world over and over again," Crouch said. "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."

    For his part, Henderson has historically shrugged off the criticism and repeated the mantra that he'll fight anybody at any time, and will take a win anyway he can get it -- a sentiment he happily reiterated once again at UFC on FOX 10's post-fight press conference.

    For Crouch though, a man who's known Henderson for years and been along for the ride every step of the way, having to hear the public's continual onslaught of negativity can get a little personal.

    "Sometimes it's tough as a trainer," Crouch admitted. "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."

    While it's true that the incessant noise gets tiresome at times, particularly for Crouch, both he and Henderson acknowledge that, in the end, it's exactly that -- noise.

    Henderson's triumph over Thomson will still go down as a ‘W' -- his eighth in nine attempts inside the Octagon -- and the former champ will continue to grind, getting one-percent better inside the gym while he awaits his next assignment.

    "It doesn't matter (who we fight next). It's not up to us," Crouch said in closing. "We're just going to keep getting better, so whoever they give us, we'll just keep beating them until we get to see Pettis again. We're looking forward to that."
  • 01-27-2014, 08:12 PM
    Goremire
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. MMA View Post
    That's hard to tell as that was 3.5 years ago. Funny to contemplate and predict as anything could've really happened. The likely scenario is that he would've beat Maynard in January 2011 (and we wouldn't have seen the epic fight that Maynard and Edgar put on), and BJ would've went on to face Pettis (instead of Pettis taking the fight with Guida) some time in the summer of 2011. If BJ lost, it would've been an immediate rematch with Pettis at the end of 2011. If he won, he would've faced Bendo. That's as far as I can envision. Perhaps, the Edgar rematch would've re-surfaced if BJ went through all those guys but then again if BJ did, he may have just retired.
    I see it pretty much that way. As for Edgar he would have lost his opportunity but would have gained fans in defeat: after BJ had smashed everyone up until him he would have come out with his credibility massively increased just by virtue of going the distance and not taking too much damage (much like Gustaffson did against Jones.) So he could have featured as a variable with Bendo/Pettis depending on how results/injuries panned out which would have been interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by VimyRidge View Post
    I just rewatched 1, 2 3 and 4 and not sure how you would give round 2 to Bendo, I thought it was Thompson. I gave 1,2 and 4 to Thompson and have not rewatched 5 yet.

    Anyways, not sure why this takes Thompson out of the title hunt. He lost a razor thin decision to the #1 contender, which probably could have/should have gone the other way. I think with one win against a top "5" he should get a shot.
    I didn't take notes or anything when I watched it - I just remember thinking "close round, but it's one all" going into the third so giving Bendo the second didn't have a great deal of thought behind it. It was more of a first impression. Ill have a look tonight time permitting and slow-mo the exchanges and update my opinion of it.

    What made you give Thompson 2 out of curiosity? I agree with you on 1 and 4.

    As for Thompson getting a shot with one more win if the stars align right he could get a shot without one. Wouldn't be the first time.
  • 01-27-2014, 12:49 PM
    VimyRidge
    I just rewatched 1, 2 3 and 4 and not sure how you would give round 2 to Bendo, I thought it was Thompson. I gave 1,2 and 4 to Thompson and have not rewatched 5 yet.

    Anyways, not sure why this takes Thompson out of the title hunt. He lost a razor thin decision to the #1 contender, which probably could have/should have gone the other way. I think with one win against a top "5" he should get a shot.



    Quote Originally Posted by Goremire View Post
    I watched the fight without commentary and gave it to Bendo - rounds 2, 3 and 5. 2 and 5 were tight. Ill need to watch it again.

    Agree about the overuse of the term 'robbery', it's getting old. It's also doing a disservice to those who have been the victim of an actual robbery.



    If BJ wins the first Edgar fight, is he still at Lightweight and in the title mix in all likelihood?
  • 01-27-2014, 07:15 AM
    Sniggles
    BJ Penn should have won the first fight, it it weren't for those meddling judges and their stupid dog.
  • 01-27-2014, 05:38 AM
    Dr. MMA
    Quote Originally Posted by Goremire View Post
    If BJ wins the first Edgar fight, is he still at Lightweight and in the title mix in all likelihood?
    That's hard to tell as that was 3.5 years ago. Funny to contemplate and predict as anything could've really happened. The likely scenario is that he would've beat Maynard in January 2011 (and we wouldn't have seen the epic fight that Maynard and Edgar put on), and BJ would've went on to face Pettis (instead of Pettis taking the fight with Guida) some time in the summer of 2011. If BJ lost, it would've been an immediate rematch with Pettis at the end of 2011. If he won, he would've faced Bendo. That's as far as I can envision. Perhaps, the Edgar rematch would've re-surfaced if BJ went through all those guys but then again if BJ did, he may have just retired.
  • 01-27-2014, 01:27 AM
    Goremire
    I watched the fight without commentary and gave it to Bendo - rounds 2, 3 and 5. 2 and 5 were tight. Ill need to watch it again.

    Agree about the overuse of the term 'robbery', it's getting old. It's also doing a disservice to those who have been the victim of an actual robbery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. MMA View Post
    By the trajectory of both, I did mean they would not have had a rematch right after. BJ would have then went on to face Maynard and BJ was a really bad matchup for Maynard. Maynard would have easily got outboxed and he would've been unable to take BJ down. Penn would've faced Pettis after, which would've been quite interesting back then.

    Frankie would've just gone to beating others and would've taken a little while to re-earn the shot. Hell, Frankie may have moved down to 145 even earlier.
    If BJ wins the first Edgar fight, is he still at Lightweight and in the title mix in all likelihood?
  • 01-27-2014, 12:01 AM
    Dr. MMA
    Quote Originally Posted by VimyRidge View Post
    ... tragectory of both .... they did have a rematch right after??? .... so, while the rematch would not have happened if BJ won the first one, you can't blame BJ's slide on the first decision, he had a chance to redeem himself and did worse (not that I agree with your assessment of the fight in the first place).
    By the trajectory of both, I did mean they would not have had a rematch right after. BJ would have then went on to face Maynard and BJ was a really bad matchup for Maynard. Maynard would have easily got outboxed and he would've been unable to take BJ down. Penn would've faced Pettis after, which would've been quite interesting back then.

    Frankie would've just gone to beating others and would've taken a little while to re-earn the shot. Hell, Frankie may have moved down to 145 even earlier.
  • 01-26-2014, 09:31 PM
    Cat--Smasher
    What was the deal with Bendo's toothpick last night?

    I seen them check him for it before the fight but after the decision it looked like he pulled it out of the side of his mouth and was all cocky about it... Or I just missed his corner hand him one. If he did the former, does the UFC or AC come down on him?
  • 01-26-2014, 09:28 PM
    Y2JUBAE
    Henderson was completely unimpressive last night. Josh broke or injured his hand in the 1st and still managed to pull off what I considered to be a draw.
  • 01-26-2014, 09:13 PM
    VimyRidge
    ... tragectory of both .... they did have a rematch right after??? .... so, while the rematch would not have happened if BJ won the first one, you can't blame BJ's slide on the first decision, he had a chance to redeem himself and did worse (not that I agree with your assessment of the fight in the first place).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. MMA View Post
    I also think that BJ/Frankie 1 was a pretty bad call that borderlines robbery (BJ clearly won the first 3 rounds in my eyes and only the last round definitely belonged to Edgar). The trajectory of both their careers would've been quite different if BJ got the nod.
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