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SportsMixed Martial Arts

Yes, Ben Henderson is a very good fighter

Please don't label Ben Henderson's win over Jim Miller on Sunday night at UFC Live 5 as an upset. And please don't act incredulous that Henderson won.

Caught up in the discussion of Miller's seven-fight win streak and his finally being recognized as a title contender, many seemed to forget that Henderson was once the WEC lightweight champion and defended that title successfully twice.

Having watched Henderson (14-2) for close to three years, here's what we can learn: the guy has become next to impossible to submit.

Mixed martial artists, especially the 155-pounders, are flexible and agile. Even the bangers. But Henderson either has more tendons in his body than the average fighter, or less. We're not sure. Either way, he's more Gumby than Gumby himself (and Eddie Murphy on "Saturday Night Live," for those of you who appreciate old-school pop culture references).

Miller (20-3) went for six submission attempts in their fight in Milwaukee's Bradley Center, and each time Henderson stayed relaxed and slipped his way out. Kimuras, ankle locks, heel hooks, triangle, arm-in standing chokes.

No problem for "Smooth," who outworked Miller in every aspect of the fight from striking to grappling to ground and pound. Henderson outstruck Miller, 148-26 including an 88-15 edge in power strikes, according to CompuStrike. Henderson was 7-for-7 in takedown attempts.

It was such a thorough unanimous decision win for Henderson, one judge scored a 10-8 round.

You can act surprised by the completeness of Henderson's win over Miller. Just don't pretend like it was a monumental upset. Henderson is good.
 

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