Former UFC lightweight Benson Henderson is frustrated with having his fights in the hands of the judges and following his loss to Patricky Freire in the Bellator 183 main event this past weekend, he has vowed to do his best to make needed changes.
“I think that either way, win or lose, I need to stop having close fights,” Henderson told MMAjunkie after his loss. “(People say), ‘Oh, it was kind of close, maybe you could have won, you could have lost.’ Like, those close fights are killing me. It’s always nice to win a close fight, win a close split decision, but just being in close decision, close split decision, split decision (all in a row) – those are just too close to have. You can’t have those. You have to have a better performance win or lose. You got to be in more decisive battles. It sucks.”
Henderson went on record by saying that he is not sure what he needs to change in order to create a wider gap from the competition. If he had to take a jab at it, it would largely come down to activity.
“I think if I had a technical reason for it, maybe cage control or damage done while you have the cage control,” Henderson said. “Maybe the number of significant strikes thrown from cage control. You’ve got to find the way to word it, exactly. For whatever reason, earlier on, I was winning those really close decisions, and I’ll take it. Now I’m not winning close decisions, so I have to do better. I have to be better to get my hand raised in those close decisions.”
Following his departure from the UFC, Henderson’s time with Bellator has not gone as planned up to this point. He has decorated resume and had momentum on his side prior to his signing with the Viacom promotion.
Henderson made it clear there’s no piece of him that’s being turned off from the sport or forcing him to consider giving up.
“When you get to a point where you’re losing, and it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t sting, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I lost another one; oh, well’ (then you should retire),” Henderson said. “This burns my soul. This does not feel good. It is burning inside. You have to learn who to deal with it. Learn how to accept it, take it like a man, and get better from it. In no way, shape or form, am I not highly upset. But I know if I tear a TV off the wall and smash it, it doesn’t do anything. It’s just all theatrics. I know on Monday I need to get back in the gym and work on getting better, so I don’t have close decisions, period.”
“For me, it’s always get back in there right away,” Henderson said. “I’m pretty healthy. No black eyes or not beat up or too sore or nothing like that. I’d like to get back in there right away, but who knows what Bellator is going to say, match-wise, who I’m going to match up with next. That’s a whole spaghetti and pile of noodles I don’t want to worry about.”