With less than a month until the event, Bellator 196’s headliner has received a makeover.With James Gallagher (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) injured and out of his fight against featherweight Adam Borics (10-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), the promotion called on former lightweight and welterweight title challenger Benson Henderson (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) and MMA veteran Roger Huerta(24-9-1 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) as the replacement.Bellator officials today announced the lightweight fight. It was first reported on “The MMA Hour.”
Bellator 196 takes place April 6 at Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary, and airs on Paramount via same-day delay.Henderson, 34, joined Bellator in early 2016 as a marquee free-agent signing, but he’s encountered some troubles along the way. The former UFC and WEC lightweight champion has lost three of four fights in the organization, which included title fights with Andrey Koreshkov and Michael Chandler. “Smooth” hasn’t competed since Bellator 183 in September, when he dropped a split decision to Patricky Freire.Huerta, who was a notable free-agent signing for Bellator back in early 2010, has not fought for the company since a second-round TKO loss to Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 33. “El Matador” is likely still most recognizable for a memorable UFC run in 2007, which included him landing a landmark cover spot on “Sport Illustrated.” The 34-year-old enters Bellator 196 on a two-fight winning streak, but Huerta has dropped five of his past eight overall.
The Bellator 196 lineup now includes:
- Benson Henderson vs. Roger Huerta
- Denise Kielholtz vs. Lena Ovchynnikova
- Giorgio Belsanti vs. Brian Moore