Bellator MMA officials announced that Benson Henderson will be returning to the lightweight division for his next bout with the company. His opponent will be former featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. The bout is expected to take place on August 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Henderson, a former UFC lightweight champion, has fought in the welterweight division in his last three outings recording a 2-1 record. He made his Bellator debut in April and was granted a welterweight title shot in his very first fight. Henderson was out sized and lost via a unanimous decision to champion Andrey Koreshkov. Henderson moved up to the welterweight division after dropping back-to-back losses to Rafael Dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone.
For Freire, this fight is an opportunity to showcase his skills against one of the top lightweights in the world. “Pitbull” has been a longtime fighter under the Bellator banner and has been one of the company’s biggest stars. He recently dropped the featherweight championship to Daniel Straus in late 2015 but bounced back with a submission win over Henry Corrales on the same card in which Henderson lost to Koreshkov.
Though not officially announced, the winner of this bout may earn themselves a shot at Bellator’s biggest star and newly re-crowned lightweight champion Michael Chandler. Oddly enough Chandler defeated Patricky Freire,the older brother of Patricio, for the title.