Benson Henderson scored an impressive win over Islam Mamedov at Bellator 273 this past weekend, surprising a lot of people with how much he had left in the tank. Some are wondering if that’s the last time we’ll see the 38-year-old in mixed martial arts. Complicating matters a little bit is that Henderson revealed that Saturday was the final fight of his Bellator contract. Will Henderson be back?
Henderson Going Out On A High Note?
For many MMA fighters, they don’t know when it’s the end. We’ve seen a number of them hang on too long and end their careers with a hard-to-watch losing streak. For Henderson, he looked like he was going down the same path with a three-fight losing streak – including a knockout at the hands of Michael Chandler at Bellator 243. However, Henderson redeemed himself with a split decision win over Mamedov on Saturday, ending his 19-fight unbeaten streak.
If this was the end, Henderson seemed quite content. “I do know that if this is the last one, this was a great way to go out,” he said after the fight.
Henderson En Route To Hall Of Fame?
While Henderson’s Bellator career has been uneven – he’s 6-6 – there’s no question that he’s earned the right to have a shot at the Hall of Fame. He went 5-1 in the WEC and 11-3 in the UFC. He has some impressive wins on the resume, including Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar (twice), Clay Guida and Donald Cerrone (twice). He was the WEC and UFC Lightweight Champion was the 2012 Sherdog Fighter of the Year and engaged in a number of battles that earned Fight of the Year honors. In Bellator, he had some good performances but came up short when the Welterweight Belt was on the line.
If Henderson wants to come back for more, he’ll be welcomed back by many fans and Bellator will surely find him some competition – especially after how he showed on Saturday. And if that is indeed the last we’ve seen of Smooth, it’s a great way to cap off an illustrious career.