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Crouch warns Henderson on toothpick-gate

ESPN staff
December 10, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Benson Henderson was hugely impressive in defeating Nate Diaz © Getty Images
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Benson Henderson's trainer John Crouch has admitted his fighter does indeed step into the octagon with a toothpick, but does not know if he had it during his win over Nate Diaz.

Henderson produced a hugely-impressive effort to topple Diaz in their lightweight clash at the weekend, but the dominant display was overshadowed by reports about the toothpick. It was a question posed at the beginning of Henderson's press conference, which upset Crouch, but it is a topic of debate.

Crouch, although upset by the initial line of questioning, has suggested it is a relief the subject is out in the open as it might stop a "stubborn" Henderson from doing it in the future.

"I don't ever know when he had it in," Crouch told MMAMania. "I tell him not to do it and he either does or doesn't do it. I don't know. We're gonna work on it.

"I think with all this attention, hopefully this will stop him from doing it anymore. I've been asking him for years not to do it. I've checked. I've physically looked. I can't tell if he has it or not sometimes.

"He's a stubborn kid and that's why he's a champion. I don't know why that's his little thing. I'm sure they're gonna give him a hard time about it. I didn't know it was in there.

"It makes me sad that that's what people wanted to talk about. I understand it's a curiosity, but at the press conference, some idiot that was the first question they wanted to talk about. Like seriously? You just watched that fight and the first question you're gonna ask about is a toothpick? That's crazy.

"When you're in the public eye and you do something, people notice."

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