Benson Henderson just defeated Jorge Masvidal in the last fight of his UFC contract. He is now a free agent that can sign with any MMA promotion that he wants to. Of course, it is very likely that he re-signs with the UFC, but if he doesn’t, there are some other interesting options that he can explore. The former UFC Lightweight Champion boasts an overall record of 23-5, with 11 of those wins coming in the UFC. Since moving up to welterweight, Henderson has won two straight. Now, he can choose where he wants to finish his career.
It always seemed that the UFC did not give Henderson very much respect. That partly has to do with the fact that Benson does not get very many finishes, he only has two finishes in his UFC career, both of them by submission. But he is still an exciting fighter who will fight anyone at any time. But the UFC only cares about knock outs, so Benson Henderson has not been on a pay per view card since 2013. He has mostly headlined Fight Night cards, but he has not gotten a crack at a pay per view card in some time.
Bellator is the obvious choice for Henderson if he decides not to re-sign with the UFC. Several UFC veterans, including Josh Thompson, have already jumped shipped and joined Scott Coker. Bellator allows for sponsors, unlike the UFC, so fighters do not have a limit on the amount of money they can make. This might be one aspect that lures Benson Henderson there, but there is another. Bellator does a really great job of spotlighting their fighters and making their fight cards feel huge. Henderson would get the proper respect there because he would most likely be headlining one of Bellator’s tent pole events. I, personally, would also like to see a rematch between him and Josh Thompson.
Another viable option is the World Series of Fighting. No, they can’t pay Henderson as much as the UFC or Bellator, and their talent pool isn’t nearly as deep. But their lightweight and welterweight divisions aren’t bad. Henderson vs Fitch, Henderson vs Shields, and, if he goes back down to lightweight, Henderson vs Gathje are all fights that could happen. It really just depends on what Henderson wants his legacy to be. He will most likely re-sign with the UFC, but I would really like him to join another organization and branch out.