UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Benson Henderson, available to media under the Bellator banner at the Mohegan Sun just two days ahead of his welterweight title fight with Andrey Koreshkov, was the center of attention on Wednesday. Bellator’s new star said he felt very comfortable in his new environs heading into his promotional debut at Bellator 153.
Yet, as is the case out in Las Vegas where UFC 197 takes place on Saturday night with an interim title fight between Jon Jones and Ovince St. Preux, his fight is being slightly overshadowed by the sudden news that Conor McGregor has presumably retired. McGregor shook up the fight world with the announcement, and now it’s become the topic of conversation.
Henderson said he wasn’t exactly surprised by everything that’s transpired with McGregor and the UFC in the last 24 hours.
"If you raise your children a certain way, they’re going to act a certain way," Henderson told MMA Fighting. "If you allow them to get away with certain things when they get older, they’re going to act a certain way. It’s what happened. Conor McGregor is acting a certain way because he was allowed to for much of his career, and it is what it is."
If all goes well on Friday night, and Henderson becomes the first fighter to win a title in the WEC, the UFC and Bellator by taking out Koreshvov, he could be on the verge of a piece of familiar-feeling history. A title fight with lightweight champion Will Brooks could be in the offing. It was McGregor who was attempting to hold two titles simultaneously at UFC 196, where he was originally slated to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight belt.
Of course, Dos Anjos was injured and replaced with Nate Diaz, who submitted McGregor on short notice. Now, a little over a month later, McGregor is sitting out UFC 200, and is saying he’s done fighting.
Crazy what can happen in six weeks.
"Then again you have other professional fighters who come here and do their jobs as professional athletes, and do a great job of promoting fights, good a job doing what they are supposed to do, but still acting within the means of being a professional athlete," Henderson said, waving his hand at the other Bellator fighters on the stage, including Michael Page. "Some people do, some people don’t. Some people get away with doing whatever they want. No problem. If that’s you, who am I to say anything bad about it?"