[RANK5=John Hyon Ko] Former Bellator welterweight and lightweight title-challenger “Smooth” Benson Henderson will return to the cage at Bellator 196 in Budapest, Hungary against Roger Huerta in the main event on April 6.
James Gallagher, who was originally supposed to headline the event against Adam Borics, suffered an injury to his hand and had to be pulled from the show.
Henderson has had an inconsistent run in the Scott Coker steered promotion. While the former UFC lightweight champion defeated Patricio Freire at Bellator 160 due to an injury suffered by the “Pitbull” brother, he lost both opportunities to win a world title against Andrey Koreshkov (welterweight) and Michael Chandler (lightweight) as well as dropped a decision to Patricky Freire. He is currently on a two-fight skid and has been out of MMA competition since Septemeber of last year.
Huerta, the 34-year-old journeyman, has spent most of the past few years fighting under the ONE Championship banner with mixed results. In his return to the cage after being out for over a year, he took a disqualification win over former TUF contestant Hayder Hassan at Phoenix FC 4 last December. The last time “El Matador” competed under the Bellator banner was in 2010 when he lost to Eddie Alvarez during the Bjorn Rebney era.
This clash is a more fitting main attraction and could boost the profile of this event overall. Two big-name fighters that have been around the block and can still put on spectacular performances is what was needed for this debut in Hungary.