A hand injury has forced Irish featherweight James Gallagher out of his upcoming main event slot at Bellator 196 against Adam Borics on April 6 from Budapest, Hungary.
Rather than replacing Gallagher in the headline spot, Bellator has opted to make a new fight that will pit former title contender Benson Henderson against Roger Huerta in a lightweight battle that will now serve as the main event.
Sources close to the matchup confirmed the news on Monday following an initial report from MMAFighting.
This fight will actually serve as Huerta’s first appearance in Bellator in nearly eight years. The former “Sports Illustrated” cover boy last fought in Bellator back in 2010 after amassing a 1-2 record over three fights.
Following his exit from Bellator, Huerta traveled overseas where he began competing for ONE Championship while putting together a 2-3 record over five fights. Most recently, Huerta has managed back-to-back wins including a disqualification victory against former “Ultimate Fighter” finalist and UFC veteran Hayder Hassan this past December.
Now Huerta will take on Henderson in a matchup between two former stalwarts of the UFC’s lightweight division.
Henderson accepts this fight after last competing in September 2017 where he lost a heart breaking split decision to Patricky “Pitbull” Freire that dropped his Bellator record to 1-3 overall.
Of course, Henderson has also fought for the Bellator title in two different weight classes since joining the promotion in 2016. Henderson will certainly look to bounce back from back-to-back losses in his two most recent performances.
As for Gallagher, the popular Irish athlete has been sidelined for injuries since his last fight in June 2017. There’s no word on how long he’ll be out of action but sources indicated that Gallagher should be ready to return to action sooner rather than later with this particular hand injury.
What do you think about the new matchup between Benson Henderson and Roger Huerta at Bellator 196? Sound off in the comments and let us know!