Here’s a fight many people never thought they’d see.
Originally headlined by James Gallagher vs. Adam Borics, Bellator 196 in Budapest needed a new headliner after an injury forced Gallagher off the card.
Instead of a new opponent for the hometown favorite Borics, the event has received a new headliner altogether.
It was announced on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that former two-division title-challenger Benson Henderson will face a returning Roger Huerta in an unexpected – but very fun – headliner.
Adam Borics will remain on the card against a yet-to-be-named opponent, just not in the main event as planned.
Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Roger “El Matador” Huerta
After a 7-0 run to open up his UFC career – including winning the lightweight title and defending it three times – Benson Henderson (24-8) closed out his UFC tenure with a record of 11-3. He left following two wins against Jorge Masvidal and Brandon Thatch – both at welterweight.
He then surprised the MMA world by signing with Bellator MMA, debuting in a welterweight title fight against Andrey Koreshkov. Despite being champion, Koreshkov was an underdog in the fight and beat the brakes off Henderson to retain the title. Henderson followed the loss up with a controversial win over Patricio Pitbull at lightweight and has since lost two straight against Michael Chandler and Patricky Pitbull, the former being a lightweight title fight.
Despite not reaching the levels of success that Henderson achieved, Roger Huerta (24-9-1, 1NC) has been a fan-favorite since his UFC debut in 2006. After five-straight wins, Huerta appeared to be one of the next in line for a lightweight title shot. He was put into a potential title-eliminator against UFC mainstay Clay Guida at the TUF 6 Finale in 2007.
He and Guida absolutely tore the house down, putting on one of the best lightweight fights of all time. Huerta picked up an absolutely monumental win via submission in round three. That was followed up with two narrow decision losses to Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard. Since then Huerta has competed in Bellator MMA as well as ONE Championship. Along the way, he has faced Eddie Alvarez, Pat Curran, and Koji Ando among others.
Many do not even realize Huerta has been active in the last five years, let alone the fact he competed most recently in December of last year.
Bellator 196 goes down on April 6, live from BOK Hall in Budapest, Hungary.
Bellator Kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz returns to MMA against Lena Ovchynnikova and Ireland’s Brian Moore faces Giorgio Belsanti.
An opponent for Hungary’s Adam Borics should be announced shortly.