Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has gone just 1-2 under the Bellator banner since signing with the promotion in 2016, but he’s also had to deal with some injury setbacks.
Late last year, Henderson underwent successful knee injury, and he recently revealed that he feels fully healthy heading into his Bellator 183 main event bout against Patricky Freire, which is set to take place tomorrow night (Sept. 23, 2017) from San Jose, California:
“It feels great to know in the back of my head that there’s nothing wrong,” Henderson told MMAjunkie. “There’s no ailments, no ‘knee doesn’t feel quite right, but that’s OK, I’ll get it taken care of after I’m done fighting.’ But to know truly that everything is good to go.”
At 33 years of age, time is ticking on Henderson’s fighting career, especially because he once said that he’d like to retire at age 33 to join the military. That is no longer the plan, although “Smooth” would still like to conclude his fighting career in the coming years and potentially join the reserves.
The ex-UFC champion said that he’d like to fight 15 times in the final three years of his career, and he hopes that most of those fights are title fights:
“I have more time to do it now,” Henderson said. “That being said, I have a limited amount of time left – one year, two years. I know I don’t want to be fighting when I’m 40. I don’t want to be fighting when I’m 37. And I don’t want to be fighting when I’m 36.
“But in that time, for most of my fights, I don’t take a lot of damage. I want however long I have (left), I want those to be as action-packed as possible. I want to get 15 fights in those three years. Hopefully, they’re all title fights.”
Henderson challenged Michael Chandler for the Bellator lightweight title this past November, but suffered a decision loss. He also challenged Andrey Koreshkov for the Bellator welterweight title in his promotional debut in April 2016, but lost a one-sided unanimous decision.
A win over Freire would put “Smooth” right back into title contention at 155 pounds.