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Bellator import Ben Henderson: 'A ton of UFC fighters hit me up for advice'

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Recent Bellator acquisition and former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is no Benedict Arnold, but it appears that he's willing to impart his wisdom onto current free agents from the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.

"Smooth" completed his contract with ZUFFA following his split-decision win over former Strikeforce 155-pound title challenger Jorge Masvidal in South Korea last November. He went on to drop a nugget in the hint bank regarding his free agency intentions, but alas he bolted for what were greener pastures, which is what a couple of his notable peers did in 2015.

More green and an immediate title shot was lucrative enough to lure Henderson from the land governed by UFC President Dana White, who wishes him all the best, but the promotion's head honcho may not like what Henderson had to tell MMA Junkie.

"I can't even say how many texts and calls from other fighters asking me, ‘What did the UFC bring to the table? What did Bellator bring to the table? How did they treat you? Was (UFC Chairman) Lorenzo (Fertitta) mad? Did Dana get all mad?'" Henderson said. "A ton of fighters hit me up and asked me that and asked for advice."

Perhaps one of these names popped up on the MMA Lab product's caller id.

Though Henderson receives his golden ticket to throw fists with reigning Bellator welterweight titleholder Andrey Koreshkov at the Bellator 153 event on April 22, 2016, he could end up regretting this later on as three-time title challenger Quinton "Rampage" Jackson made the trek back over from the Viacom-owned promotion to UFC.

It has been quite a divorce.

However, current head cheese of Bellator Scott Coker -- not Bjorn Rebney -- is running the show and he's quietly been assembling a small army of UFC veterans in his stable. That's probably because Coker offers fighter-friendly contracts.

Whatever the case may be, there's no man who can discount what Henderson brought to the table and achieved during his four-year tenure with UFC. His record of 11-3 and four performance of the night bonuses are nothing to sneeze at.

In any case, happy trails "Bendo." We're glad you left on good terms.

Your departure could've went a hell of a lot worse.

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