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Maria Henderson formally joins husband Benson on Bellator roster: ‘It is one thing we have all the time hoped for’

February 6, 2023 8:45 pm ET Bellator MMA is now a family affair for the Hendersons. Although Maria Henderson has competed under the promotion’s banner as an amateur in a one-off deal, she wasn’t rostered long-term like her husband. Until Friday, that is. As first reported by MMA Underground, Henderson, wife of former UFC lightweight

Maria Henderson formally joins husband Benson on Bellator roster: ‘It is one thing we have all the time hoped for’

Bellator MMA is now a household affair for the Hendersons.

Though Maria Henderson has competed below the promotion’s banner as an novice in a one-off deal, she wasn’t rostered long-term like her husband. Till Friday, that’s. As first reported by MMA Underground, Henderson, spouse of former UFC light-weight champion Benson Henderson, inked a multifight take care of the promotion.

A Bellator official has since knowledgeable MMA Junkie that Henderson (1-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will subsequent combat towards 3-0 novice Mackenzie Stiller (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 293, a March 31 occasion at Pechanga Resort On line casino in Temecula, Calif.

“It’s one thing we’ve all the time hoped for,” Henderson instructed MMA Junkie on Friday. “Like I stated, we fought for them earlier than and I knew I wanted a bit bit extra expertise within the cage. I fought for them as soon as and I fought for LFA just a few instances. We wanted to get our toes moist. I’ve been attempting to transition into MMA for some time, like, get totally into it. Once we went professional, that’s what we did. I really feel prefer it’s time for us. We all know we’re going to make thrilling issues occur with Bellator.”

Henderson, 30, fought at Bellator 268 in October 2021, when she defeated Collette Santiago in 40 seconds by submission. The bout was a uncommon novice bout for the promotion, which determined to go exterior of its typical skilled boundaries and capitalize on the chance to place a husband and spouse on the identical card.

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After she obtained a 3-0 document as an novice with two submissions, Henderson turned professional. Henderson won her pro debut by Americana in 102 seconds at LFA 135 in July. There have been gentle conversations a few long-term take care of Bellator prior to now, however after her most up-to-date win, the seriousness went to a different stage.

One beforehand long-standing impediment for Henderson was the dearth of a strawweight division in Bellator. Nonetheless, the promotion might look so as to add one sooner or later. When or in the event that they do, Henderson will probably be able to show herself.

“I knew they didn’t have a division,” Henderson stated. “I’ve joked round with a few of the guys prior to now, like, ‘Hey, you understand I’m prepared if you wish to begin that division.’ They’re like, ‘Hey, bump as much as 125 and we’re good to go.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, no. I can’t try this. I don’t even stroll round at 125. It’s simply thrilling. It signifies that not that they’re basing it off me or something, however I’m prepared to assist them open that door.

“I don’t know what number of women they’ve on their roster up to now. I do know they’re going to be having a division going sooner or later. It’s simply going to take a while to get it up and working. It’s only a greater platform to get myself getting into that 115-pound division. I’m going to be the most effective 115-pounder on the earth.”

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