On this Friday night, April 22nd, Bellator 153 features an intriguing main event for the Welterweight title between Russian Andrey Koreshkov and Benson Henderson.
The title fight will mark Henderson’s much anticipated debut for Bellator following his departure from the UFC. Henderson cited the Reebok deal as a big part of his reason to leave, estimating he would lose $100,000 a year through lack of sponsors.
As a former WEC and UFC title holder, however, Henderson has a chance to hold titles in three different MMA promotions, an unheard of accomplishment which would solidify Henderson’s legacy at the tail end of his career.
Henderson boasts an impressive 23-5 record (11-3 UFC). Of his 5 defeats, only 1 has come via KO, a first round defeat to current UFC lightweight titleholder Rafael Dos Anjos in 2014. He favors the ground game, owning 10 submission wins.
Koreshkov is predominantly a striker, holding 10 KO/TKO victories among his 18 career wins. The Russian suffered his lone defeat in July 2013 against Ben Askren.
The clash of styles should provide plenty of fireworks, especially since the fight will also be Koreshkov’s first title defense. He won the title after defeating Douglas “The Phenom” Lima, who was hobbled from injuries and surgery recovery, but Koreshkov dominated in a decision win. Koreshokov showed an improved ground game in that title bout, as well as some stoic mental toughness.
Henderson will no doubt look to take the war to the ground while Koreshkov will want to stay on his feet. Henderson is seven years older than Koreshkov, but the Russian stands three inches taller. Wherever the fight goes, both fighters’ experience will counter the others, but both men will fight to their strengths.
Henderson has said he isn’t necessarily focused on the history of claiming three titles. For fight fans; however, it will be a moment to savor.