Bellator 196 took a major blow when it was revealed that undefeated SBG product James Gallagher would be taken off the card due to an undisclosed injury. Gallagher was scheduled to take on Adam Borics in the main event of the promotions return to Budapest; Borics will remain on the card to take on Manuel Gaxhja, a man who mirrors his record of 6-0. That bout will serve as the new co-main event of the evening. So, what about that main event?
It’s been announced by Bellator officials that the new main event will feature former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson taking on former Sports Illustrated cover boy Roger Heurta. The bout will be contested at 155 lbs.
Henderson’s transition to Bellator hasn’t gone as “Smooth” as most would have expected. The MMA Lab fighter has come up short in two title bids, losing to both Andrey Koreshkov and Michael Chandler at 170 and 155 lbs respectively, before dropping a tought split decision loss to Patricky Pitbull at Bellator 183. His lone Bellator win would come in between the aforementioned title bids against Patricio Pitbull via injury — the younger Pitbull brother would be forced to verbally submit due to suffering a broken shin as a result of checking a low kick during the first round.
For Huerta, this will be his first fight under the Bellator banner since all the way back in 2010, nearly 8 years ago, when he faced Eddie Alvarez in the main event of Bellator 33. Huerta was regarded as one of the top lightweights in the sport at one time, holding a record of 20-1-1 after earning Fight of the Year honors opposite Clay Guida at the TUF 6 Finale just over a decade ago.
Bellator 196 ‘Henderson vs. Huerta’ will air via tape delay on the Paramount Network on April 6th beginning at 9 p.m. ET. The event will be followed by Bellator Kickboxing 9 at 11 p.m. ET. Here are the fight cards as of today for both events.
Bellator 196: Henderson vs. Huerta
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
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)