During the second round of the main event at UFC on FOX 5, I turned to the person sitting next to me and said, “Did Henderson just punch Diaz in the thigh?” The answer is yes.
Benson Henderson used the thigh punch very effectively in his unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz last Saturday night. In his post-fight interview with FUEL TV, Henderson spoke about the tactic and who he picked it up from.
“I actually planned that. I’ve got to thank Alex Caceres on that one — he came up to the MMA Lab and he did it to me and it actually hurt. He’s a 135-pounder, he weighs 150 pounds soaking wet, and he did it to me and it hurt me. I started using it and did it to my sparring partners and it hurt them. They asked me to stop because it hurt too much. It worked; I stole it from Alex and thank him very much. It was effective. You saw it against Nate Diaz and it was pretty effective. I’m always trying to add new tricks, work on my fundamentals, and get better and improve.”
The thigh punch seems to be a very under-utilized move in MMA, however if it worked for Bendo, we could see it popping up in other fighters’ game-plans.
This was Henderson’s second title defense after he won the UFC Lightweight Championship back in February against Frankie Edgar.
(Photo by Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)