Bellator MMA announced former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson’s next fight on Tuesday afternoon.
James Gallagher was slated to fight Roger Huerta (24-9-1, 1 NC), who returns to Bellator for the first time since 2010, at Bellator 196.
However, Gallagher had to pull out of the fight. Now, Henderson steps in to fight Huerta in a lightweight showdown.
This event will also feature a flyweight contest pitting Bellator women’s 125-pound kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz (1-1) versus Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5, 1 NC) and a featherweight battle between SBG Ireland’s Brian Moore (10-6) and Giorgio Belsanti (7-6-1).
Following his departure from the UFC, Henderson’s time with Bellator has not gone as planned up to this point. He has decorated resume and had momentum on his side prior to his signing with the Viacom promotion.
Henderson holds wins over some of the top-ranked fighters in the world including Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone (x2), Frankie Edgar (x2), Gilbert Melendez and Jorge Masvidal.
This marks the first time since facing Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 33 that Huerta has fought inside the Bellator cage. He is fresh off of two consecutive victories.
Bellator 196 is set to take place on Friday, April 6, 2018, in Budapest, Hungary at the Budapest Sports Arena. The preliminary card will air online at 7:00 pm EST while the main card will air on Paramount Network at 9:00 PM EST.
The promotion will be announcing more bouts for his upcoming event in the coming weeks. Here are the updated cards for Bellator 196 as well as Bellator Kickboxing 9:
Bellator 196: Henderson vs. Huerta Fight Card:
Lightweight Main Event: Benson Henderson (24-8) vs. Roger Huerta (24-9-1, 1 NC)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: Adam Borics (6-0) vs. Manuel Gaxhja (6-0)
Women’s Flyweight Main Card Bout: Denise Kielholtz (1-1) vs. Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5, 1 NC)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Brian Moore (10-6) vs. Giorgio Belsanti (7-6-1)
Bellator Kickboxing 9 Fight Card:
Welterweight World Title Bout: Raymond Daniels (33-3) vs. Djibril Ehouo (38-9-2)
Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Alexy Ignashov (85-21) vs. TBD
Women’s Featherweight Main Card Bout: Jorina Baars (44-0-3) vs. Julie Burton (7-1)