“Smooth” Wants a Strap- Henderson to Receive Title Shot
The first days of February have been a whirlwind for “Smooth” Benson Henderson. On the first of the month, it was announced that the 25-3 (11-3 UFC) former UFC Lightweight champion had signed with promotional rival, Bellator MMA. A mere 24 hours after that, his previously undisclosed first opponent and debut date followed. Bellator has definitely rolled out the red carpet to say the least.
Perhaps it was his overall record, perhaps it wasn’t just his name value or UFC veteran status but the fact that Henderson is a recent former UFC champ, either way his long road to a Bellator title is more like a five minute bicycle ride to the corner store. “Smooth” will debut against the promotion’s 170-pound leader of the pack-- Andrey Koreshkov. Henderson had previously announced plans to shift between 155 and 170 pounds. USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com notes that with over two months to go until Henderson places a foot in the Dave & Buster’s ad covered cage at Bellator 153, he actually has an advantage in terms of activity. Henderson wrapped up his time with the UFC with decision victory against Jorge Masvidal just in November while Koreshkov has remained dormant since winning the title over the summer. After more than six years with Zuffa, LLC, Henderson received positive words from UFC President, Dana White. "I'm honestly happy for Benson," White recently told MMA Junkie. "I'm not angry. Who knows -- this could be the last contract he ever signs. He got the right deal for him. He's a great guy, and we wish him all the best." "The truth is we made him an offer that would have paid him substantially more -- like not even in the same ballpark -- than he's getting now if he were to become world champion again, but he chose their deal, which offered more up front," White said-- retrieved via FoxSports.com. Bellator 153 is live from Uncasville, Conn. at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Spike. Save the date--April 22.