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In a 'perfect world,' Benson Henderson said he'd re-sign with the UFC in 'five minutes'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ideally speaking, Benson Henderson would sign his name to a piece of paper tonight, fly to Orlando and get into a fight next week on national television.

It's highly unlikely anything of those things will happen, though. Henderson's contract with the UFC expired after his win over Jorge Masvidal last month, and he's currently a restricted free agent. The UFC now has an exclusive negotiating window, followed by a span of time where it can match any outside offer Henderson gets.

Henderson thinks the total period of time before he can become an unrestricted free agent is nine months. He certainly does not want to wait that long.

"In a perfect world, I would like to re-sign with the UFC in five minutes or in 10 minutes," Henderson told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Or later tonight. As soon as possible. Re-sign with the UFC, get what we feel we're worth and then fight. I'll fight in December. If somebody falls out or gets hurt, I'm ready to go."

The former UFC lightweight champion wants to be back in the promotion in which he made his name. However, it was his wish to be in this free-agent position in the first place. Henderson has a son on the way and his primary goal right now is providing financially for his burgeoning family.

"That's what ultimately you want," he said. "You want to be able to take care of your kids. You want to be able to take care of your kids' kids. I want to have a trust fund setup for my son's grandson. That's what I'm looking to do. I'm looking ahead seven generations. Hopefully I can get started in that right direction. But that's why we wanted to get the best offer and weigh out the contract and just be smart about everything."

Henderson will be fielding offers, when he can, through new manager and longtime coach John Crouch. Henderson and his former manager Malki Kawa of First Round Management parted ways after the split decision win over Masvidal on Nov. 28, he told Helwani.

Another quirk in the process will be Henderson's desire to retire at the age of 33. He is 32 right now. "Smooth" said he is not sure when he will hang up the gloves, but the plan is to do it before he turns 34. Henderson wants to use the time he still has to continue to cement his legacy.

"I want to prove that I'm the best on the planet," Henderson said. "But you need to fight to do that. You can't talk about it. You can't say this, you can't say that. Some people do. You can talk a big game. Sure, that works. Some people are great at talking. That's not what I'm good at it. That's not what I practice."

Most would argue that the UFC is the best place for that. Henderson doesn't necessarily disagree, but being in a promotion like Bellator or ONE Championship would not make him any less intent on being the best he possibly can.

"I have never been one of those guys who needs a reason or an excuse to get excited or to be motivated to train," Henderson said. "I am extremely, highly self-motivated. I want to get my hands raised no matter what it is we do."

Winning a competition means partaking in one. So, sitting on the sidelines while this whole process plays out won't be his favorite thing. Even if it is necessary.

"You need other offers," Henderson said. "You need other organizations to say this or to say that. When you bid on construction for a house, you have to have two or three other companies bid on the house and see who gives you the best deal. That's what we feel we did with the UFC."

At the end of the day, though, Henderson wants to stay in the place in which he has headlined 10 events.

"I'd love to re-sign with the UFC and get right back in the cage," he said.