By Chris Huntemann and Jared Jones
A few years ago, when it was time for free agency in the NBA, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all decided to each take a little less money and play together for the Miami Heat. How did that turn out? Oh, not too bad. While they failed to live up to the expectations placed upon them, they still managed to win back-to-back championships and made the NBA Finals four years in a row.
What does this have to do with mixed martial arts?
Much like James, Wade and Bosh are considered three of the very best players in the NBA, there are currently three MMA fighters on the free agent market that have the opportunity to introduce a sea change to the sport.
Those three fighters are Benson Henderson (no. 13 welterweight, no. 15 lightweight), Aljamain Sterling (no. 5 bantamweight) and Alistair Overeem (no. 3 heavyweight).
Before his victory over Junior Dos Santos in Dec. 15, Overeem stated his intent to test the free agent market when his UFC contract was up. Henderson announced just this morning that he had signed with a multi-fight deal with Bellator, while Sterling, who is represented by the same firm as Henderson, continues to mull over his options as a free agent.
The signing of Henderson to Bellator is a landmark deal for the sport, less so for the figures the former lightweight champion will making under the new promotion, but rather for what it represents in regards to the UFC’s lock on the sport’s top talent. Ever since the Fertitta brothers and The Baldfather took over the joint, the UFC has prided itself on housing “the world’s best fighters” while quickly eliminating any other ….View full article