SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 11/19: Benson Henderson promises a better performance tonight, plus Notebook (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Benson Henderson at Bellator weigh-ins


Bellator lightweight Ben Henderson has his sights set on a third title and hopes to earn a shot by defeating Michael Chandler tonight at Bellator 165, which aired live on Spike TV.

On a conference call to promote Bellator 165, Henderson admitted he feels his performances have been lackluster as of late, but promises that will change tonight. “Come Saturday night, I’m going to have a great performance,” he said. “I’m making sure I’m going to have a great performance. I worked my butt off and it’s time to have a great night. It’s time to have a great performance. I haven’t had a great performance in Bellator yet, and come Saturday night, I’m going to make sure I have my first great performance for Bellator.”

He also discussed what winning the Bellator title to his collection would mean to him and his legacy. “Adding the Bellator title to the list, it means a lot to me because having a belt is a statement,” Henderson said. “It is verification that you are the best. And then having a belt in three different organizations means you were the best in three different organizations, so it does mean a lot to me. I don’t try to think about it too much right now. I know at maybe (age) 55 or 40, I will look and think, ‘Oh man, that was really amazing,’ or that was really cool to do this”.

Asked about his desire to serve in the military, Henderson feels people don’t have the same respect they once had for the country. “I just would like to serve my country,” Henderson said. “I think serving is a lost art, giving back to the country. Not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. I think that seriously, we are lost today. Our society, our country, something is wrong with us. We are jacked up in head. When I raise my kids, I like to express to them the importance of doing real stuff, giving back to your country, doing good, being a good person. So that would be me going out of my way to do something to give back to my country so that I can raise my kids and say, ‘Hey, look at this, this is something I did for this country.'”

Cervantes Analysis: Though he hasn’t looked himself in his last few fights, Henderson remains as competitive as ever and I think he has an excellent shot at defeating Chandler tonight. He is by far the most talented fighter in the Bellator Lightweight Division and I’m sure he’ll add the title to his resume shortly. As far as his desire to serve the country, I think it’s admirable that he would leave all this behind to enlist in the military and set an example for his family.


-Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva lost a violent decision at RCC Boxing Promotions in Russia to Ivan Shtyrkov

-Gegard Mousasi told MMAFighting he feels that Lyota Machida’s suspension is a little harsh.

-Brian Stann said the winner of Ryan Bader vs. Minatouro Nogueira could be next in line for a title shot.

-Bellator’s Michael Page says he wants to make his name synonymous with the sport.

-Andre Ward, preparing to fight Sergey Kovalev today, told TMZ Sports that he has sparred with the Diaz brothers and he’s impressed. “I spar with Nick and Nate Diaz … those boys know what they’re doing, they can throw their hands,” he said. He said he wants to see a truce in the MMA vs. boxing war, but only after Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather throw down.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 11/18: Alvarez responds to people suggesting he threw the fight against McGregor at UFC 205 (w/Cervantes Analysis)

(Jonathan Cervantes has been an avid fan of MMA since 2009 when he saw GSP vs. B.J. Penn 2. He has practiced tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling in the past and is currently a student majoring in entrepreneurship at the University of San Francisco. He writes the MMATorch News Digest on Fridays and Saturdays. Michael Hiscoe writes MMATorch News Digests Sunday through Thursday each week.)

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