clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Morning Report: Dana White says Ben Henderson turned down incentivized UFC contract for 'more up front'

New, comments

Former UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson made a splash Monday morning when he announced he'd be leaving the UFC's ranks to head to chief rival Bellator.

Henderson had been signed under the Zuffa banner since 2009 with World Extreme Cagefighting and made sure to recognize his long-time employers during his exit.

"I'd be remiss to not thank [UFC president] Dana White and [CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta for the opportunities they presented me, you guys have helped me change my life for the better and to be able to provide my family with the things I didn't have while growing up," Henderson wrote on his official webpage. "For that I'll always have the utmost appreciation. Thanks for all the advise you guys gave too, both business wise and personal."

Henderson was 2-0 for the UFC since making the move to 170 pounds, but White doesn't sound heartbroken to see the 32-year-old move on.

"The truth is we made him an offer that would have paid him substantially more - like not even in the same ballpark - than he's getting now if he were to become world champion again, but he chose their deal, which offered more up front," White told MMA Junkie.

"He's a former world champion who's ranked No. 15 now. We're looking for top-5 guys, guys that are going from 15 to 1, not the other way around."

White wished Henderson well, admitting the vet's decision to sign elsewhere was likely the prudent call.

"But I'm honestly happy for Benson," said White. "I'm not angry. Who knows? This could be the last contract he ever signs. He got the right deal for him. He's a great guy, and we wish him all the best."

Star-divide

5 MUST-READ STORIES

More to come. Bellator president Scott Coker syas "No. 1 target" Benson Henderson is just "the tip of the iceberg" for the promotion.

Not so super. Sage Northcutt went to emergency clinic for strep throat "two days" before UFC on FOX 18 loss.

'The fight game is cruel.' Chuck Mindenhall takes a look at the fallout from Sage Northcutt's first professional loss.

Monday Morning Analyst. Luke Thomas talks UFC on FOX 18, Sage Northcutt's tap and more.

Bruce Leeroy. Alex Caceres talks about his victory over Masio Fullen at UFC on Fox 18, his training at the MMA Lab, weight cutting, and much more.

Watch The MMA Hour with Fabricio Werdum, Sage Northcutt, Benson Henderson, Scott Coker, Artem Lobov, Anthony Perosh and Dave Meltzer.

Star-divide

MEDIA STEW

Star-divide

UFC Fight Night Countdown: Hendricks vs Thompson.

Star-divide

UFC matchmaking Joe Silva previews Hendricks vs. Thompson.

Star-divide

Michael Bisping chats with keyboard warriors picking Anderson Silva to beat him.

Star-divide

Lots of finishes from ONE Championship.

Star-divide

Dana White talks Ronda Rousey maybe returning in November, McGregor being like Ali.

Star-divide

TTTHS.

Star-divide

Long watches.

...

...

Star-divide

TWEETS

Star-divide

Bendo.

Star-divide

Just easier this way.

Star-divide

Warmer than New York.

Getting in some early work, to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift! Hope Luke is keeping that belt warm for me.

Posted by Chris Weidman on Monday, February 1, 2016

Star-divide

Camping.

Good work with @philmrw at @alliancemma

Posted by Alexander Gustafsson on Monday, February 1, 2016

Star-divide

Class act.

Well fight obv didn't go as planned, took a stupid shot and ended up paying for it. It is what it is. You keep playing...

Posted by Ryan Bader on Monday, February 1, 2016

Star-divide

Buds.

Star-divide

Agree?

Star-divide

Get it while you can.

Star-divide

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Feb. 1 2016)

NA

Star-divide

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.