Benson Henderson reveals plans to retire at end of Bellator lightweight tournament as champion: “That would be a dream come true”

By Josh Evanoff - March 9, 2023

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is planning on ending his career soon.

Benson Henderson

‘Smooth’ has been out of action since his win over Peter Queally last September. That victory was a big one for the former champion, as it was his second in a row. Henderson had previously upset the massively favored Islam Mamedov earlier in the year.

The lightweight will now return tomorrow night in a similar capacity. Henderson is a massive underdog in his lightweight title bout with Usman Nurmagomedov in the main event of Bellator 292. The bout will be the opening bout of the lightweight Grand Prix, with eight fighters competing for gold, as well as $1 million dollars.

At Bellator 292 media day earlier this week, Benson Henderson previewed his return. There, the lightweight revealed his plans to retire at the end of the Grand Prix. When discussing his goal, Henderson stated that his retirement is so he can support his wife. The former champion’s wife, Maria, is undefeated thus far and is currently signed to Bellator.

Benson Henderson, Myles Jury

“Yeah, four fights left with the Grand Prix and I thought, ‘Wow, that works out well doesn’t it’. That would be a dream come true, but if you work your butt off man, you can live your dreams. You can have your dreams,” Benson Henderson stated at Bellator 292 media day this week. “No [there’s no temptation to stay], at the end of these fights I’m done.”

He continued, “I think for everyone, athletes who retire at this age, they always ask if they can play one more [time]. I still feel good, fast, competitive, but for me, it’s more than just being competitive and being able to hang with the best guys in the world. It’s more about my wife getting her turn, she needs to get going and be able to concentrate on training and fighting.”

“Our kids are getting old enough now that I can do my due diligence and take over more full-time, and let her do full-time training.”

What do you make of this news? Do you think Benson Henderson will defeat Usman Nurmagomedov? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!

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Bellator Benson Henderson