Benson Henderson says “intangibles” offered by Bellator bested “strong offer” from the UFC

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

“Ultimately, it’s what’s best for myself and my family. Bellator presented one heck of an offer you couldn’t say no to. They made it pretty easy on me. They opened up the red carpet, they were super nice. Very much taking care of me and showing how much they wanted myself on board, wanted myself a part of their team. When you get that sort of reception, it’s hard to say no… The UFC came with a strong offer, but it’s the intangibles. Sponsorships, other things. It’s not just the base price. Bellator came with a lot of other high tangibles that the UFC just couldn’t quite match… I will say I will be fighting at both weight classes. I’ll be bouncing back and forth. 170, 155. 155, 170. I’m getting to have some fun over there. I love being able to have the option to bounce around and not just being stuck here or stuck there. ‘You’re not allowed to do this.’ But having the option, the ability to get creative and do what you want to do, I love that. Bellator is all about that.”

-Benson Henderson gives further thoughts on his decision to sign with Bellator, and his plans for competing in the organization, during an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.

Penick’s Analysis: Henderson’s starting out going after the Welterweight Title, and if they’re going to allow him to move back and forth, he could be working a similar two-division reign to Conor McGregor, provided both actually capture two titles. It’s at a bit of a lesser level with less money involved, but it would still be a significant accomplishment. Regardless, there are opportunities for Henderson with Bellator the UFC wasn’t going to have on the table for now, so he made the call that makes the most sense for him, and it will be exciting to see what he puts together on a different stage.

[Photo (c) Ron Chenoy via USA Today Sports]

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