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Ben Henderson: 'I 100 percent support Mark Hunt' in his attempt to unionize fighters

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson plies his trade in Bellator these days. But when UFC competitor Mark Hunt makes a ruckus, it reverberates around the sport.

Hunt has boisterously expressed his opinions after Brock Lesnar failed two drug tests following Lesnar's 200 win over Hunt. Among other things, Hunt has said he'll be the one to organize fighters into a union.

And Henderson, who has never been afraid to speak his mind, says he's on board with "The Super Samoan."

"I 100 percent support Mark Hunt, everything he's doing and talking about," Henderson told MMAFighting.com on Tuesday. "I think it's a long time coming, it should have been here a long time ago."

Henderson also noted that others helped lay the groundwork to simply get the issue out in the forefront, including those who are currently suing the UFC on antitrust grounds.

"There are a lot of other guys, Cung Le, Jon Fitch, there have been guys who have talked about it for a long time," Henderson said. "I show my support and solidarity with those guys. As a mixed martial artist, I definitely support them."

The fighter nicknamed "Smooth" believe labor relations are part of the sport's maturation. In the early days, fighters were as often as not simply happy to fight and weren't as inclined tot think of themselves as professional athletes.

"MMA is such a young sport," Henderson said. "The NFL has been established, it's been around a long time, boxing has been around a long time, Major League Baseball has been around a long time, but MMA as a sport is so young, that a lot of guys who do MMA, the fighters of MMA, don't really know what it is like to be a professional athlete."

"So as a professional athlete you think, oh, I should get this," Henderson continued. "There are certain things, for actors, it's the same way. They get to enjoy the Screen Actors Guild, they're, ‘this is what you should get.' It's not an extra thing, it's not something nice. If you go on the set, and you're there for a 10-hour shoot, you're supposed to get lunch, they're supposed to provide lunch for you. It's not ‘oh my god! They gave us lunch and sandwiches, awesome, this is great!' No, you're supposed to get that, you should get that."

Henderson meets Patricio Freire at Bellator 160 on August 26 in Anaheim, part of a two-night doubleheader which also includes a Premiere Boxing Champions card the following night featuring Robert Guerrero.

The MMA Lab fighter, who was in town as part of a media day featuring competitors from both cards, pointed at Guerrero, who was being interviewed by several reporters, and contrasted the differences between boxing and MMA.

"Boxers are used to it," Henderson said. "They know they are supposed to get this and supposed to get that, and what it's supposed to be like and how it is supposed to be conducted. Us, as mixed martial artists, we're finally getting like, ‘oh yeah, we should make this much money.' NFL, they had a lockout so that they could get 51 percent of the total gross revenue. Us fighters, we get, like, seven percent, maybe seven percent of gross revenues. So, us as athletes, we're not that smart and it took us awhile to get our act together."