Ben Henderson spent a total of four-plus years in the UFC, even capturing the promotions lightweight title at UFC 144 in February of 2012.
The fighter, who is now a part of the Bellator MMA roster, is happy to not be dealing with the UFC’s politics any longer.
“I thank the Lord I don’t have to deal with that part of the job,” Henderson said to MMA Fighting. “And I never really dealt with it in the first place, I wasn’t one of those guys that was like, ‘Aw, I gotta deal with this.’ But whatever, it’s like water off a duck’s back. It’s no big deal. But man, 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. 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. That very much irks me, because I’m pretty boring outside the cage. I’m a blue collar, I go to work, I bust my ass in the gym, but I’m not somebody who’s going to say something outlandish just for the sake of getting a few more Twitter followers or I’m not gonna pose naked for more Instagram followers. I’m not one of those guys that says something stupid just for the sake of getting more attention.”
Henderson earned a record of 11-3-0 in the UFC, competing in both the lightweight and welterweight division while in the promotion.
One thing the former UFC fighter has noticed is how much other competitors have changed while fighting in the UFC.
“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,” Henderson said. “You have to start wearing fur coats. 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? 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.”
Bellator 220 takes place on Saturday, April 27 from the SAP Center in San Jose, California with Rory MacDonald and Jon Fitch headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on DAZN.