Thursday December 10, 2015– Bellator MMA and Scott Coker are what some say the 2nd biggest MMA Company behind the UFC. With the UFC roster so stacked with not just top talent but global superstars, Bellator MMA knows they can’t compete but the best thing about it is that their not trying to compete. Bellator has amazing talent and top of line matches night after night, and with upcoming talent on the roster like lightweight champion Ill Will Brooks, and new featherweight champion Daniel Straus, and even signing new talent like Josh Thomson and Josh Koscheck, Bellator really feels that they can put on a stacked card every single event. Coker has the utmost respect from all the MMA world, and with earning that respect, he has been able to bring in new talent from all over the world. With that being said, the hottest free agent on the market is Benson Smooth Henderson.
Benson is a former WEC and UFC lightweight champion, after defending his title a few time in each runs as champion Henderson has built up his status as not only one the baddest lightweight and welterweights in the world but he has also become one the most popular fighter in all of MMA. With that being said, now that he is a free agent Bellator could use a big name fighter who can jump right in and be competitive and even make a title run in not just one division but two.
Benson has stated that he does want to retire in the UFC, but as history has shown us money always talks. Lebron James left Cleveland for Miami, and Jason Giambi left Oakland for New York. There are many of others that left their team or organization to join another to try to build their legacy, sometimes it has paid off sometimes it hasn’t. In this situation, Smooth has won two fights in a row and either in the UFC or Bellator, he is prime for a title run. If you look at the UFC side, Benson is now making his way up the welterweight contenders list and with two straight wins he could find himself in line for a top 15 opponent. If he is to pull off a victory against a top 15 talent, then next up would be top 10, then top 5, and maybe a title shot. In the long run it’s a pretty big mountain to climb to get to where he wants to be. From the Bellator side of things, Smooth has the option of jumping into the welterweight division or the lightweight division as I stated earlier, whatever weight classes he picks to compete in, they should have him lined up for some top ranked opponents right away, and after a few wins Henderson should find himself in line for a title shot.
If you look at other former UFC fighters that signed with Bellator such as, Tito Ortiz, Phil Davis, and Josh Thomson, they’ve all either fought for a title or are in line for a title shot in their next fight. Thomson is surging through the lightweight division and possibly is one fight away to a title shot. The marketing that Smooth would bring to Bellator would sky-rocket their merchandise and ratings through the roof, a former champion who is still in his prime and still a top ranked contender makes his way to Bellator to continue the next chapter of his career, that will put butts in the seats and add more and more viewers other than the casual fan to each broadcast.
In the long run signing Benson Henderson won’t just help Bellator now but also in the future. A top talent is what any organization looks for but when you find the perfect fit it becomes a can’t miss. For someone such as myself who has watched Smooth through his whole career, Bellator can do no wrong with signing him. There is no doubt in my mind that no matter where he lands Henderson will be a champion again before he is all set and done. I’m sure I speak for all MMA fans when I say Henderson Vs Lawler or Henderson Vs Andrey Koreshkov would get the world’s attention.
Like I always say for my personal favorite teams sign him and lock him up. Let the bidding war begin
Rick San Bartolome
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