Bellator lightweight Benson Henderson isn’t a fan of the current state of the UFC, and is ‘very thankful’ he doesn’t have to deal with the politics of the promotion anymore.
The former UFC lightweight champion signed for Bellator MMA in February 2016, after spending four years fighting for the UFC. Henderson (26-8) had a dodgy start to his Bellator career, missing out twice on the Bellator lightweight championship, however he has since improved and is currently on a two-fight winning streak.
Henderson spoke to MMA Fighting about how top contenders and win streaks are now ignored in the UFC and instead fighters who reel in the limelight are being awarded.
“When you’re on a six-fight, seven-fight win streak and you can’t get a title shot call, or it just doesn’t go your way.” Henderson said. “There’s a bunch of stuff, but it’s just like the politics of it, you’re not known for what you do inside the cage. You’re more known for what you do outside the cage.
“I think in the UFC that’s exactly the route you have to go. You have to say something incredibly stupid, you have to wear sunglasses inside to get the attention. I see these younger guys, when they get into the UFC, they’re pretty normal, straight-laced, good guys, just hard workers, that’s how they got to the UFC. And then they go on a two-fight, three-fight win streak and all of a sudden they’re wearing fur coats to media interviews and wearing sunglasses inside. It’s like, who is this guy? Where’d you come from?
“Smooth” continued by saying he understands people can change when they grow older, but he laughed at young fighters dressing to impress in the UFC.
“Yeah, we’re all growing, we’re all changing, you’re not going to be the same person at 29 that you were at 24, but that being said, you’re going to become somebody who wears a fur coat in the middle of July, like, come on, be serious there, kid. It is what it is, so I am very happy, very thankful that I don’t have to deal with that for sure.”
Henderson is set to fight Adam Piccolotti at Bellator 220 this Saturday, April 27th in San Jose, California.