MMA veteran Benson Henderson recently revealed that he thinks that the praises he gave to his former UFC employers weren’t given enough attention before he left the promotion and moved to Bellator.
“I wanted it to be a bigger part of the story, but of course you can’t choose what’s put out there or what people choose to take. But I really wanted to emphasize my thanks to all the guys behind the scenes at the UFC. They really do an amazing job. It’s not just talk. The guys behind the scenes at the UFC, they are awesome,” Henderson said during a recent interview with MMAjunkie.
Last February 1st, Henderson made a huge decision of leaving his longtime promotion company and move to its rival company, Bellator. He posted a note on his official website explaining the reasons why he decided to join Bellator.
“I’d like to officially announce my move over to Bellator MMA. I’m beyond excited for this next phase of my career, it’s a big move, like any move when switching employers or jobs after having worked somewhere for such a long time,” Henderson said.
The former UFC MMA fighter went on and thanked his UFC bosses for all the opportunities that he was given and even went on thanking a number of behind-the-scene employees by their names.
“And last but not least, to who it is I think of when I think of the UFC! Everybody behind the scenes who I personally dealt with every time I reported in or had to do something. Mayra, Melissa, Dave, Chris, Nick, Tracy, Joanie, Maura, Tony, Heidi, Ryan, James, Dave, Kaia (sp.???), Burt, Rob, Rudy, Stitch, House, Mike, Susie, Dean, Donna, Feryal, Sean, Joe, Brad, Jazzmine, Candice, Michelle, Reed, sorry I can’t name everyone or this list would go on for forever. There’s a whole ton of people behind the scenes who make that show what it is. You guys and girls are the ones who make that show great and allow us fighters to do what it is we love!!! Much love to you all and thanks for putting up with me for so long,” he wrote.
As expected, the media and fans focused more on what will happen to Henderson now that he has moved to Bellator and how this decision would affect the rest of the UFC MMA fighters left behind. Henderson, however, clarified that while he does understand the fact that the media would focus on those headlines, he is hoping that the gratitude that he expressed to the UFC would not go unnoticed.
“They are amazing at their job, and they make it so easy for us athletes to go out there and do what it is we love and to make sure we’re able to perform at our best because of all of the stuff they do behind the scenes. The PR department, the event operations department, answering back emails and getting your flights situated – the people behind the scenes at the UFC, I just want to say a huge thanks to the Zuffa guys. I’ve been there for what, six or seven years now – for a while – and the WEC, it was operated by Zuffa, also, so I knew all those guys for a long, long time, and they always had my back, always helped me out, always went out of their way, and I just want to say thanks to those guys. I said that in the thing I gave, and then in all the articles, it kind of got glossed over. I just want to emphasize how much of a thanks, how much appreciation I have for the guys behind the scenes at the UFC,” he added.