By: Nolan King |
October 25, 2019 9:22 pm
Bellator’s debut event in Japan now has a co-main event.
Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (19-5 MMA, 16-5 BMMA) will meet former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson(28-8 MMA, 5-3 BMMA) at Bellator Japan, the promotion announced during Friday night’s Bellator 231 broadcast.
While both fighters are predominantly known for their accomplishments at lightweight, the fight will be contested at a catchweight of 160 pounds.
The bout will mark the second time Chandler and Henderson face off. The two fighters first competed against one another at Bellator 165 in November 2016.
Then-champion Chandler and then-challenger Henderson went toe-to-toe for five rounds. In the eyes of all three judges, Chandler did enough to retain his title by unanimous decision.
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Since their first collision, Chandler has competed five times, going 3-2. He lost his lightweight title to Brent Primus in June 2017 and regained it in April 2018.
In his most recent bout at Bellator 221 in May 2019, Chandler once again lost his belt. In a champion vs. champion superfight, Chandler was knocked out by perennial featherweight strapholder Patricio Freire. The bout lasted only 61 seconds, before Chandler ate a barrage of punches which ended the fight.
As for Henderson, “Smooth” has also competed five times since his first meeting with Chandler. Since he suffered a split decision loss to Patricky Freire at Bellator 183, Henderson has won his four most recent outings.
At Bellator 227 in September, Henderson defeated fellow UFC veteran Myles Jury by unanimous decision.
Bellator Japan takes place Sunday, Dec. 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo. The main card airs on Paramount network after prelims on MMA Junkie. In the main event, former PRIDE champ Fedor Emelianenko returns to take on former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson.