Benson Henderson wants Bellator tourney alternate spot; Scott Coker open to it

NEW YORK – Benson Henderson wants to be an alternate for the Bellator welterweight grand prix. Company president Scott Coker is open to allowing it happen.

Henderson (25-8 MMA, 2-3 BMMA), who fights Saad Awad (23-9 MMA, 11-6 BMMA) in Saturday’s Bellator 208 lightweight co-headliner, has fought several times at welterweight in the past, but has had mixed results. Still, though, he would like nothing more than to return to the weight class as part of the 170-pound tournament.

The eight-man field is already set up – with an alternate bout between Lorenz Larkin and Ion Pascu also booked for Friday’s Bellator 208 – but if another opening pops up, Henderson wants in.

“I would love to get in on that,” Henderson said at today’s Bellator 208 press conference. “It was never brought to me; it was never brought up. No one from Bellator ever contacted me for the welterweight tournament. But if someone gets hurt and you need someone to step up and make weight on six hours’ notice, on one days’ notice – I’m your man. I would love to do that.”

Bellator 208 takes place at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Henderson vs. Awad co-headlines the Paramount-televised main card following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Following Henderson’s comments, MMAjunkie spoke with Bellator boss Coker about the potential of getting him in the tournament, and he didn’t dismiss the idea.

It would take a hiccup to the current tournament bracket, which is not something Bellator wants,  to get Henderson in. But if something does go haywire, Coker said the former UFC lightweight champ will certainly be among those in the running to step in.

“I think that he would be one of the guys that would be up for consideration and it will be up to him,” Coker said. “The 170-pound weight class, you’ve got some killers in there and they’re big guys. It’s going to be up to him, but we’ll have that conversation. His name came in the mix when we started putting this together, but we said, ‘This might be a tall order.’ I think we have eight of the best welterweights in the world. Killers.”

For more on Bellator 208, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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