So despite Benson Henderson’s claims to the contrary, we have indisputable evidence that he fought Nate Diaz with a toothpick in his mouth. There’s also signs he did the same against Clay Guida, which makes me speculate that he probably had the thing in there for his two Frankie Edgar fights too. You don’t have to be a certified medical practitioner to know why this is a bad idea – it’s more of a surprise to most people that you can actually do that without choking in under 5 minutes.
While the jig is undoubtedly up for Ben fighting with his toothpick, Washington’s athletic commission has decided they aren’t going to do anything about it:
I don’t have much of a problem with them ‘not investigating’ the situation, but the logic behind it leaves a little bit to be desired. So if the rulebooks don’t specifically exclude fighters from chomping on toothpicks during fights, there’s nothing illegal about it? That’s some dumbass reasoning, sadly par for the course when it comes to athletic commissions. Just say you saw it and while it was dangerous and against the rules you won’t be disciplining him for it.
In the future, you better believe refs will be checking Henderson’s mouth before he gets into the cage. Whether anyone is going to stop him from training with it in … well, that’s another story. One that might lead us to a headline like ‘Lightweight UFC champ chokes to death during sparring session.’