UFC Fight Night 79’s Benson Henderson on future plans: “I want a UFC strap around my waist”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Ben Henderson (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

“For sure getting ready and preparing for 170 [lbs] is different from getting ready for 155 [lbs] because I’m able to focus that much more on training, I’m able to focus on getting better. I’m able to get better at boxing, get better at jiu-jitsu, get better at wrestling. I’m not worried about cutting my caloric intake by two-thirds. I’m not worried about how many calories I’m taking in, how many milligrams of sodium I have in a day, how much protein I have in a day, that sort of stuff. It’s nice to just worry about training, to just worry about getting better.

As far as the future at 170 or 155, as cliche as it may be, at this point in my career I’m more worried about getting a chance to fight for a belt again. I’m going to work my butt off, I’m going to put in the work and bust my butt every day to earn another shot at the belt again. I want a UFC strap around my waist. I’m going to bust my butt to make sure that happens. Whether it’s at 170 or 155, it doesn’t matter to me. At 155, I can beat up anybody tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. [Rafael] dos Anjos wants to go five rounds tomorrow? No problem, let’s do it. I have that same confidence at 170 but at 170 I’ll probably need to have a full training camp to go up against some of those beasts at 170, some of those large guys. But I feel just as confident at 170.”

-Benson Henderson talks to FoxSports.com about his future in the UFC into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 79 event.

Penick’s Analysis: Henderson looked great against Brandon Thatch in February in his welterweight debut, and in Jorge Masvidal he’s got an opponent who himself was at lightweight until earlier this year as well. Against some of the larger guys he may have a tougher time, and he’s freely admitting he’d want so more prep time for them, but he’s a game competitor no matter who he’s facing. It’s been reported that he’s on his final contracted fight in this one, so he’ll be looking to get paid if and when he defeats Masvidal. I think the UFC will absolutely come through on that if he does indeed win, as he’ll be a contender at whichever weight class he’d like to compete.

[Benson Henderson art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]

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