The legend of the toothpick continues! Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is an interesting guy for many reasons, but today we’re focusing on his odd habit of keeping a wooden toothpick in his mouth at all times — even when fighting in the Octagon.
Word started getting around about Benson’s oral fixation back in 2011 when Kenny Florian revealed the guy almost always had one in his mouth, even when sparring and training. Then in 2012, Henderson was caught on camera during his fight with Nate Diaz popping a tootpick out from his cheek between rounds. He claims it’s just a habit he has and no big deal … unless it’s an athletic commission asking, in which case he denies fighting with it until there’s proof it’s in there. Then he claims he forgot to take it out.
Commissions started making an effort to check Henderson for toothpicks on his way into the cage, but apparently they aren’t doing good enough of a job. In his fight over the weekend at UFC Seoul, the toothpick emerged once more, this time actually falling out of Bendo’s mouth onto the mat.
All this is pretty funny, but it’s also a serious health concern. The last thing the UFC needs is for one of its fighters to end up in the hospital with a small wooden spike punched through their soft palate. Henderson says he’s used to keeping the thing tucked away in his cheek with no problems, but what happens if he gets knocked out? It doesn’t take much imagination to see multiple scenarios where that toothpick could end up somewhere dangerous.
UFC Seoul was another event where the UFC was taking care of a lot of the athletic commission duties. It will be interesting to see if they reprimand Benson Henderson over the toothpick … considering he’s been warned about this in the past, a suspension might even be in the making.
(Video via /r/mma)