With “Pitbull” (29-4 MMA, 17-4 BMMA) potentially occupied with the Bellator featherweight grand prix for the next 12 months, Henderson (27-8 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) isn’t sure what his path to the 155-pound title could be.
Henderson, the former UFC and WEC lightweight champ, has won three straight fights and will look to extend that run next week when he meets Myles Jury (17-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in the Bellator 227 headliner on Sept. 27. He doesn’t blame Freire for putting focus on the tournament, but the consequence is uncertainty in the other division where he holds a belt.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do,” Henderson told MMA Junkie. “It makes sense for him to not have a fight at the ’55 weight class because he’s doing a tournament, and the pay for the tournament is huge with the $1 million prize. Of course, financially it makes sense to put everything into the tournament and put the ’55 belt on hold if you’re Patricio. But for me, I want to hurry up.
“My clock is ticking, so I want to get this underway. But sadly I don’t know what they’re going to do. I can’t see Patricio wanting to take a fight at ’55 during the tournament, and it’s going to take a while. I’m in the wondering mode.”
When a champion is unavailable for a prolonged period, the idea of introducing an interim title is often brought into the discussion. Bellator president Scott Coker has been resistant to interim belts, though, and the organization has only used them sparsely in its history.
Henderson isn’t keen on interim belts, either, but in this instance he said it might be a logical solution to keep the division moving.
“I’m not a fan of interim titles, but if that’s the route they decide to take then I wouldn’t say no to that,” Henderson said. “Then when Patricio wants to get beat up again (after I won our first fight), they can send him my way, no problem.”
Henderson knows a fight for the belt – interim or otherwise – won’t be in the cards unless he’s triumphant at Bellator 227, which takes place at 3Arena in Dublin. He really wants it but ultimately plans to go along with whatever situation the Bellator brass deems best.
“In a perfect world, I want a title shot,” Henderson said. “Go beat up Myles, go make a statement and finish him and get a title shot next. I would definitely take that. But I’m not one of those guys who is a prima madonna or a shot caller. I’m more of company man, so I’ll do whatever Bellator says.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: With Bellator lightweight belt on hold, Benson Henderson in 'wondering mode' about title shot