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.
“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…”