Former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson announces move to Bellator MMA. He enters Bellator ranked in both the welterweight and lightweight UFC divisions.
Details on the Bellator agreement have not been disclosed, but according to Brett Okamoto, UFC officials confirmed that the promotion waived it’s matching rights on Henderson.
Henderson wrote about ‘The Move’ on his official blog.
“I’d like to officially announce my move over to Bellator MMA.
I’m beyond excited for this next phase of my career, it’s a big move, like any move when switching employers or jobs after having worked somewhere for such a long time.
I have to thank the BigMan upstairs for putting some amazing people in my life, my wife (first and foremost) and a lot of truly smart and insightful people behind the scenes who helped make the connections and negotiated this deal to bring it to fruition.
I’d be remiss to not thank Dana White and Lorenzo Fertita for the opportunities they presented me, you guys have helped me change my life for the better and to be able to provide my family with the things I didn’t have while growing up. For that I’ll always have the utmost appreciation. Thanks for all the advise you guys gave too, both business wise and personal.”
Henderson held the UFC lightweight championship from Febraury 2012 to August of 2013. He defeated Frankie Edgar for the belt in Japan at UFC 144 and went on to defend it against Edgar in a rematch, Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz before losing it to Anthony Pettis. He then went 2-2 following the Pettis loss, including a controversial decision loss to Cerrone and a KO loss to current champion Rafael dos Anjos.
He then made the move to welterweight to take on Brandon Thatch on short-notice, defeating Thatch in a Fight of the Night effort. In his most recent outing he took on Jorge Masvidal is South Korea, Henderson won by decision.
News about his Bellator debut should be revealed in the near future.