Home MMA Bellator Benson Henderson to Retire Soon and Join Military

Benson Henderson to Retire Soon and Join Military

(Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Benson Henderson, 32, makes his Bellator debut on Friday night vs. Andrey Koreshkov.

The fighter has long said he will retire at 33, which is seven months away, or 19 months, depending on how you count it. During an in-studio appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Henderson revealed that the long-stated desire to retire at 33 was so he could serve his country.

“Remember I said 33 and however many months,” said Henderson, joking with Helwani as transcribed byChuck Mindenhall for MMA Fighting. “I can be 33 and eleven months.”

“The real reason (for retiring), to be frank with you, is that I will end up joining the military ranks. I’ve always held a pretty strong civic duty. Us as Americans, we need to do a better job period.”

“Kids always say for the longest time, oh I was going to join the Marines, oh I was going to join the Army, this or that. Every 22-year old says that. It’s something that I always felt. When I’m older, when I’m 50, I want to be able to tell my kids, I want to tell my grandkids, hey, you have a civic duty to your country. To serve, to give back. What have you done for your country besides eating the food and using the electricity? What have you done for your country?

“It was something I felt pretty strongly about and I’m finding out there are other ways to go about doing it, but I can do it while still having an MMA career.”

“I’d be open to [a combat role]. I’ve talked to my wife about it. If that’s a possibility, if that’s a duty that that branch of the military feels I’m best fit for, sure. No problem. Is it something I want to do? I’m not 21, I’m not 18, I don’t want to go to war and do this…nah, I’m old man. I don’t need to prove myself and go to war and all this stuff. But if that’s what’s called on, and that’s what it takes, you know…”

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.