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.