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VCURamFan 10-24-2012 11:55 AM

Cutting to 155 'a little too much,' UFC champ Henderson fights future move to 170


If Benson Henderson were in the throes of a weight cut, a night at a restaurant would be one of those experiences filed under "Reasons why it sucks to be an MMA fighter."

There's a little less than two months until his title fight with Nate Diaz, however, and Henderson has the freedom to be a little more liberal than usual with his diet. He polishes off an entree, finishes a neglected appetizer and orders dessert during an interview at Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle.

Comforts like these offer a brief respite from the grind of fight camp, and Henderson (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who defends his UFC lightweight title against Nate Diaz (16-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) at UFC on FOX 5, appreciates comfort, though not to the point where he could be accused of gluttony. He tells ( his diet is always kept relatively in check. He might be a few weeks away from a weight cut, but that's not an excuse to go hog wild. He isn't 21 any more.

"When I was in college and wrestling, I would wrestle all day long and not get tired," he said. "I remember wrestling hard for five hours literally five hours hard and be just fine. I would eat friggin' Taco Bell, be fine, and wrestle again."

Aging is a process he's seriously thought about in the past four years of his life, and Henderson, 28, has always anticipated a moment when all of his less-than-constructive habits would become a hindrance, like a restaurant bill coming due. Older fighters in his gym used to say that time would catch up to him, and all the things that came easy to him as a youngster would be doubly hard at 30. Being a natural study, Henderson tried to cut that moment off at the pass.

"I read articles about guys like Steve Nash, who's 37 and made decisions 10 years ago to take care of his body and eat smart or healthy," he said. "Because of that is why he performs at an all-star level at the age of 38, and the same thing of Grant Hill. Reading