Fighting with a mouthpiece and a toothpick: Did UFC champ have both in his mouth

Associated Press

SEATTLE - Did Benson (Smooth) Henderson defend his UFC title with a toothpick in his mouth?

It would appear so, although there was some backtracking in the post-fight news conference Saturday after Henderson's a dominating five-round decision over lightweight Nate Diaz at KeyArena.

Henderson doesn't smoke or drink but likes a toothpick between his lips. And in his post-fight interview in the cage, an amazed Joe Rogan asked if he had one in his mouth during the MMA bout. The champ didn't confirm or deny, but video just after the final bell seems to show him rolling what looks like a toothpick in his lips.

MMA fighters wears mouthguards, so if Henderson had a toothpick, it was fighting for room.

"Don't get me in trouble, man," said a smiling Henderson when a reporter asked him about it in the post-fight news conference.

"For starters, I can't even tell if he's serious or joking," said the UFC's Dave Sholler, who was serving as MC. "But I'm sure the commission wouldn't want a piece of wood in his mouth during the fight.

"But he's smooth for a reason. I don't know."

Henderson then said he was joking and didn't have a toothpick in his mouth. It did not seem that convincing, however.

Henderson did have a toothpick in his mouth as he talked to reporters at the news conference.

One of Henderson's coaches reportedly said he gave the toothpick to the champ after the fight.

Asked about the toothpick, Diaz drew laughs when he said: "I don't know if he did. But that's weird."

View Comments