Initially Peeved, Benson Henderson Accepts His Fight Not on Fox

November 11, 2011
9 Comments
Ben Henderson

Ben Henderson

It’s a tough spot to be in when you’re the co-main event on what is being called possibly the biggest card in the history of the sport, but your fight won’t be televised.

That’s the news that former WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson had to wake up to a couple of weeks ago when news broke that no matter what happens in the title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, his bout with Clay Guida won’t make it to air for the first UFC on Fox.

Henderson’s fight with Guida may very well determine the next contender at 155 pounds to challenge champion Frankie Edgar, but due to the importance of this first show on Fox, they have decided to put all the chips in the basket of the heavyweight title fight.

When he first heard the news that not even highlights from his fight will make it to air on Fox, Henderson admits he was a little angry and also somewhat sad about the decision.

“I didn’t hear about it, but my phone kind of blew up because of messages, tweets, and some of my friends all texted me, asking me what I thought about that, Fox only airing Cain and Dos Santos, doesn’t matter even if it goes 10 seconds,” Henderson told MMAWeekly Radio about how he heard the news.

“When I first heard about it, I will admit I was a little peeved, a little bit upset to be honest. Not that my opinion matters at all if I am upset or not, but when I first found out about it I was a little bit upset, kind of sad.”

Fighters generally work hard and win fights to make their way towards a title shot, but maybe for the first time ever a bout with title implications hanging in the balance will only be shown online.

Despite his initial misgivings about the news, Henderson says he eventually accepted what the UFC’s decision was and understood the importance of the night for the promotion and the sport as a whole.

“You want to be on TV, I want to be on TV, I want to be a part of 20 million viewers, new fans. I’d love to have that opportunity, that chance. That’s not the case, but after I thought about it a little bit more, it doesn’t really matter,” said Henderson.

Henderson’s job is the same whether the TV cameras are on him or not. He has to go out and beat Clay Guida, and if he’s successful he may earn a shot at the most prestigious title in the 155-pound weight class.

When it all boils down for him, Henderson just wants to do his work, get the win, and the he’ll think about the rest on another day.

“All the rest of the stuff is just sort of semantics,” Henderson said.

Henderson faces Guida in the co-main event of the UFC on Fox event with the fight airing on FoxSports.com, Facebook.com, and will be available to some TV viewers through Fox Deportes on Saturday night.


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  • KBEsq

    This makes absolutely no sense. As a cost/benefit analysis, there is only gain to be had from televising this fight. What exactly do they have to lose by not putting it on FOX? A lot, actually. If the Velasquez/JDS fight is short, or not entertaining for some reason (I know that is highly unlikely, but still possible), then this fight will pick up the slack.

    As an aside, these two fighters (Guida and Bendo) are two of the best kind of fighters to introduce casual fans who will be watching. Think about it; they combine contradictory traits that make for a exciting, yet long match up. Neither one of them is really a knock out artist, but they both push a high pace and are extremely exciting and aggressive. They both also embody all aspects of MMA between the two of them. I believe this is a much more reliable fight for new MMA fans, and it’s a huge mistake to keep this off the air. On top of all that, I think most hardcore MMA fans want to see it w/o having to log onto Facebook.

    • bajafox

      It should be common knowledge by now that the UFC is losing money on this card intentionally. They could have put this thing on PPV and waited to debut with FOX until their contract officially started next year but Dana White decided to give us this fight for free knowing he is losing money.

      The ‘hardcore’ MMA fans would love to see this fight televised but by being able to watch it for free online and then Cain/JDS for free on Fox afterwards the viewers will save money.

      Dana White is making a down payment on what he hopes will be very lucrative in the future.

      • KBEsq

        If I didn’t see that you “replied” to my comment, I would have no idea how this is in any way responsive to what I said. I said nothing about literal cost/benefit as far as profits for the UFC. The only argument I made (which I stand by) is that Guida/Bendo is a great fight to get casual fans interested in MMA because it will most likely be exciting, and show many of the most impressive aspects of MMA. It is also a more reliable fight than the main event, not just because of the nature of the fighters involved, but because adding a fight to the Fox broadcast makes the whole experience more reliable in and of itself, because now there are two fights instead of just one. It’s a huge mistake to not put this on the Fox broadcast…period.

        And by the way, what is common knowledge is that the UFC needs to make this shift because their PPV numbers are going down despite the sport’s popularity.

        • bajafox

          Your first sentence was

          “As a cost/benefit analysis, there is only gain to be had from televising this fight.”

          I took as you saying that the UFC would only gain from televising the fight, which I completely agree with. My response was that the UFC already knows this.

          I would love to see the whole card on TV, much better watching it on my 42″ tv than my 17″ laptop.

          • KBEsq

            Sorry, I guess it was unclear. I meant cost/benefit as in making new fans out of people watching for the first time, as opposed to actual money profit.

    • bajafox

      No worries. Regardless, should be a good night tomorrow, can’t go wrong with FREE

  • http://MMAWeekly.com Damon Martin

    I understand with an hour show they really want to build the importance of the heavyweight title fight. With boxing’s heavyweight division in shambles, this is a way to bring back real heavyweight fighting to the mainstream.

    I’m mostly just bummed as a fan because I think Guida and Bendo will be the more compelling fight, the more exciting fight, but just doesn’t have the same impact as a heavyweight title fight on free TV.

    • KBEsq

      Obviously, I can see the logistical problems with showing the Guida/Bendo fight if the main event goes five rounds, with commercials and whatever they have planned for pre/post fight content. However, I think there should be contingencies that

      • KBEsq

        Obviously, I can see the logistical problems with showing the Guida/Bendo fight if the main event goes five rounds, with commercials and whatever they have planned for pre/post fight content. However, I think there should be contingencies that would allow for the Guida/Bendo fight to be shown, for instances of the main event is short/boring, or if the Guida/Bendo fight is abnormally interesting.