Being on the big stage is nothing new for Maria Henderson, who’s been supporting her husband Benson Henderson’s journey for years.

In just her second amateur fight, Henderson (1-0 amateur) will be making her promotional debut when she opens up the Bellator 268 card against Collette Santiago (0-2) on Saturday.

While Henderson knows that the opportunity to compete in one of the world’s biggest promotions likely came through her husband’s name, she’s in no rush to be fast tracked because of it.

“As far as going pro, when my husband tells me, ‘You look good enough to go pro,’ I’ll go pro,” Henderson told MMA Junkie Radio. “But the end goal is to be the best in the world. (It’s a) hard goal, but pretty simple goal – just to be the best in the world.”

Competing on such a big card with little experience can produce jitters for most fighters. But for Henderson, the focus is just on getting her hand raised.

“I think I’m pretty used to big fights with my husband just in general, and as long as you just keep thinking about – it’s the same state, it’s the same city,” she said. “It’s just a different location, different arena or different (cage). It’s not really that big of a deal. I really don’t want to think of it as big of a deal. Every fight is the same. You’ve still got to go in there and win no matter where it is, no matter who you’re fighting.”

Bellator 268 takes place Saturday at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.

To see the full interview with Henderson, check out the video below.


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