10 Oct - 
Benson Henderson's Bellator contract almost up, and he hopes to get one last good deal

Bellator lightweight Benson Henderson signed with the Viacom-owned promotion for six fights.

At Bellator 208, he’ll step into the cage for fight No. 6, and he’s uncertain about what comes next.

“I would probably say … leaving the UFC for Bellator was doing the best thing for my family, and being as set up financially as I could be,” Henderson, who meets Saad Awad on Saturday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., told MMAjunkie Radio. “I think the same thing for this next contract negotiation. Wherever I go, whoever I deal with, the same thing: I do what’s best for my family.”

Henderson (25-8 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) notes that his Bellator career hasn’t exactly gone the way he planned. A welterweight title fight in his debut against then-champ Andrey Koreshkov ended in a unanimous-decision loss, and he came up short in a lightweight title fight against then-champ Michael Chandler. Once known for eeking out split decisions, he lost a pair of them before rebounding in April with a stoppage of former UFC star Roger Huerta.

Finishing out a decade-plus career in Bellator is appealing to Henderson. He’s got nothing but good things to say about the way the promotion has treated him. Ultimately, though, his motivation for staying or leaving is the same as it was when he made the decision to defect from the UFC.

“This probably will be my last contract,” Henderson said. “I don’t want to fight forever. This will be my last contract. The opportunity where I can make good money is pretty small. One more good contract, and I’ll have to retire after that.

“I’m definitely going to go toward whoever gives me the best deal. Of course, it would be nice to go out with an organization who really wants you, chases you and pursues you, and wants to showcase you a little bit. That’s always appreciated.”

A fight with Awad (23-9 MMA, 11-6 BMMA) could be the bridge to another lightweight title shot if he ends up re-signing with Bellator. Current champ Brent Primus is expected to defend the title Dec. 15 when the promotion heads to Hawaii. If Henderson got the winner of that fight, it might be a powerful incentive to stick around.

Maybe not as powerful as few zeroes on his paycheck, but it’s a start.

For more on Bellator 208, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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