Henderson clear of major injury

Benson Henderson has had his elbow medically cleared for contact.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


UFC lightweight Benson Henderson, who lost the divisional championship at last Saturday’s UFC 164 via armbar submission, escaped any significant injury despite hearing his right elbow pop during the fight-ending finish.

Upon returning to Phoenix this week, Henderson visited board-certified orthopedist Dr. Brian Shafer, a physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and after an examination, learned there was no structural damage.

In a statement released to FOX Sports and other media outlets through his publicist, Henderson said he has yet to establish a return timetable.

“My elbow isn't going to be an issue,” he said. “Dr. Shafer said I can resume training immediately, but to take it slow and steady for a couple of weeks and do my rehab work. Of course I am anxious to get going full speed again but I will be smart and patient about it as well. I want to thank my hardcore fans for their awesome support, not just in the past week, but throughout my career. I can be better. I will be better.” The 29-year-old had been attempting to set a UFC record with his fourth straight lightweight title defense, but lasted just 4:31 in losing for the first time since his first bout with Pettis in Dec. 2010, seven fights ago.

Pettis, meanwhile, is also on the mend, requiring 7-8 weeks of recovery after suffering a sprained knee. When he returns, he is expected to meet No. 1 contender T.J. Grant.

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