Former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will continue to fight in Bellator for the foreseeable future.
The news of Henderson re-signing was first reported by MMAJunkie. It is being reported that Henderson’s contract is an “exclusive, long-term deal” with Bellator. However, it is not known how many fights the contract is for or when Henderson will return to the cage.
Henderson last fought at Bellator 208 where he defeated Saad Awad by unanimous decision. Currently, he is riding a two-fight winning streak after previously dropping two in a row to Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and the former champion Michael Chandler in their title fight.
The former UFC lightweight king was fighting out his contract when he took on Awad. Ultimately, Bellator and Henderson came to an agreement quickly.
Henderson, who turns 35 in just a few days has shown the ability to continue to compete at a high-level. Throughout his career, he was considered one of the best lightweights on the planet with notable wins over Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar (twice), Jorge Masvidal and Roger Huerta among others. Henderson is currently 26-8 as a professional fighter, between the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
Since joining Bellator in 2016, Henderson has gone 3-3 while fighting for the lightweight and welterweight titles. Ultimately, something that kept Henderson back was a torn ACL in which Henderson had to have surgery on in 2017. Since the injury, the former UFC champion has looked as good as ever, and his record of 2-0 post-surgery shows that.
Henderson has been known to be a slow starter throughout his career, but against Awad that all changed. He came out strong and dominated the entire fight. With a few more performances like that, Henderson could very well see himself fighting once again for the lightweight title down the road. If he does indeed win a title, he would become one of the few fighters who has been champions in both Bellator and the UFC.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/13/2018.