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Coker Would ‘Love to Have a Fighter like Henderson’

Scott Coker
Kristian Ibarra, Today's Knockout

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is now a free agent. Naturally, every major MMA promotion on the planet is interested.

That includes Bellator MMA, as the promotion’s president Scott Coker has revealed in a recent interview with Sherdog.

“I think that my guys have reached out just to see if he is actually a free agent because sometimes they have an exclusive negotiation period,” Coker said to Sherdog. “So we’re going to wait and see wait his contract status is. If he is free, then yeah we’re going to start talking to him.

“We’d love to have a fighter like Henderson on the roster. But we’re gonna do it the right way and make sure that he’s free to actually have a conversation.”

Henderson’s contract with Zuffa expired after his most recent victory over former Strikeforce lightweight title challenger Jorge Masvidal in Seoul, South Korea. Earning a split decision over “Gamebred” in the welterweight contest, the victory puts Henderson at 3-2 in his last five performances.

If signed by Bellator — arguably the second biggest MMA promotion outside of the UFC — Henderson would be the third ex-Zuffa fighter to flee to the Viacom-backed fight company. Earlier this year, perennial top light heavyweight contender Phil Davis signed a deal with Bellator. Months later, Josh Thomson re-joined forces with his former Strikeforce boss.

Both men have had quite a bit of success since making the transition, going a combined 3-0. All three of those victories came during Bellator’s Dynamite show at San Jose, California’s SAP Center in September.

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