Ben Henderson finished up his current UFC contract with a split decision win over Jorge Masvidal this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 79 in South Korea, and it seems that one of Asia’s most established promotions, Road FC, is hoping they can now tempt him to come and fight for them.
“Korean fan favorite Benson Henderson put on an amazing performance in Seoul,” Road FC General Manager Mark Lee told BloodyElbow.com. “Road FC is aware he would like to test his upcoming free agency, and we’re interested in discussing a contract with Mr. Henderson for $200,000.”
A former UFC lightweight champion, Henderson made just under $100,000 for his latest win in the Octagon together with an additional $15,000 in Reebok sponsorship money, and so it seems that his strategy to test the waters on the open market is already bearing fruit.
It’ll be interesting to see if the likes of Bellator, World Series Of Fighting or perhaps even the newly founded Rizin FC organization may also join the bidding war to recruit ‘Smooth’.
The ideal scenario for Henderson will be to follow in the footsteps of former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez who managed to secure a far more lucrative deal with the UFC than he would otherwise have done a couple of years ago when he threatened to jump ship to Bellator who were pulling out all the stops to sign him.
It remains to be seen if the UFC will play ball though. Henderson is a well established fighter who’s proven he can be a major player at both lightweight and now welterweight, but at the same time he’s never been a big draw for the UFC, so it’s not inconceivable that they might let him go as they did not so long ago with Phil Davis.
The 32 year-old has been with Zuffa for most of his 23-5 career to date though, first with WEC and then UFC, so it would be disappointing if they were to end up letting him go at this stage.