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Benson Henderson to Test MMA Free Agent Market

Benson Henderson (Photo: Gregory Payan, AP)
Photo Courtesy of AP

Benson Henderson was on the last fight of his UFC contract heading into his main event showdown in Seoul, South Korea.

Taking a big gamble by not extending his contract beforehand and leaving it all on the laurels of a potential victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night 79, Henderson has decided he’s going to field offers outside of the UFC before making a decision on where he chooses to fight next.

“When I retire, it will be retiring in the UFC – I know that for sure,” Henderson told MMAjunkie after the fight. “But I’m going to test the market, yes.

“I’m not trying to send any message of any type, but if it plays out a certain way, I want to have some pretty good memories to go out on.

Henderson defeating Masvidal via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) at the Olympic Gymnastics Center in front of about 12,000 people in Seoul. A former WEC and UFC lightweight champion, Henderson would be the second notable name to leave the UFC for a different promotion in recent memory should he choose to leave.

Earlier this year, perennial top-five light heavyweight Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis decided to leave Zuffa and join Bellator MMA.

Previously known as the best lightweight in the world and now a viable candidate to compete at 170 pounds as well, Henderson would easily be a solid addition to several promotions looking for a contender at either weight class. Both Bellator and World Series of Fighting could benefit from having Henderson to compete against Will Brooks and Justin Gaethje, respectively.

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