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The Kimchi Fighter becomes UFC champion

Benson Henderson recently made a short visit to Korea with his mother (Photo: Yonhap News).

American UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighter Benson Henderson, known as the "Kimchi Fighter," has taken first place in the lightweight division of the World MMA Rankings released by the MMA Weekly on February 29.

Henderson, who was previously ranked fourth in the same division, took the top position thanks to his recent victory against Frankie Edgar from the UFC 144 lightweight division held on February 26 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. He won the match by unanimous decision.

He recently made a short visit to Korea with his mother, celebrating his victory and attending events including a press conference.

The half-black half-Korean fighter is also famous for his taekwondo skills. He has trained in taekwondo since his middle school days.

“I’ve always been proud of my Korean blood,” he said during the press conference in Korea on February 28. “Thanks to taekwondo, I’ve been able to meditate and improve my techniques and skills.”

About his nickname, ”Kimchi Fighter,” he said, “I like my nicknames like Kimchi Fighter and Kimchi Power. As I’ve been having kimchi for every meal, any nicknames related to kimchi don’t sound strange to me.”

Despite the fact that he made his UFC debut less than ten months ago, Henderson not only took the champion belt but also placed his name on the Pound-for-Pound ranking which ranks fighters worldwide regardless of their weight.

Recently, online sports magazine Bleacher Report placed his name at seventh on the Pound-for-Pound rank commenting he will look to keep his crown no matter the foe in a plethora of title challenges.

Founded in 1993, the UFC is the largest mixed martial arts promotion company and the name of its fighting show. Fighters use various types of martial arts including taekwondo, boxing, and muay thai. Currently UFC programming is aired in 150 countries in 22 different languages.

Some Korean fighters like Kim Dong-hyeon and "Korean Zombie" Jung Chan Sung have been in UFC matches.

By Jessica Seoyoung Choi Staff Writer

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