Ben Henderson, the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion, is coming off a terrific win over Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 5 in Dec. 2012, defending his 155-pound title for the second time in a row.
"Smooth" has made it to the highest point in the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's most talent-laden division, and now it looks like he'll be getting the pay that comes with it, inking a brand new eight fight deal with the UFC.
Here's what he had to say on his official Facebook page:
"I'm very excited to let you guys know that Dana White & Lorenzo Fertitta aren't tired of me yet...proud to announce that I just signed my new contract which will keep me around for at least 8 more fights... This deal made me think long term & what it all means & what I'm here for...Am I really doing all this just to buy stuff & pay my bills??? Or do I have this platform/stage for something more??? I hope I can use these few years to really inspire, introduce, encourage & do some of His will...I hope I can do all this with my actions & not just my words...."
It is interesting to see this development, just days after Henderson showed his apparent displeasure with his wages as opposed to those offered to possible signee Eddie Alvarez. With that recent bit of news, he clearly had a strong bargaining tool in looking for higher pay.
With an eight-fight contract, Henderson is committing himself for a long time, which probably means he was very satisfied with the terms of this new offer. What does that mean? We may never actually know the full extent, but my guess is some pay-per-view (PPV) points and a sizable purse and win bonus.
Henderson is not currently slated to fight anyone at this time, but there have been talks of a Gilbert Melendez match up when that becomes available. To add, Alvarez may be offered an immediate title shot if he comes to the UFC, or Henderson may face a rematch with the winner of the Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis fight, currently set for UFC on Fox 6 later this month.
No matter the order, Henderson can clearly take them all on in the near future ... and still have five more fights to satisfy his current contract.