Benson Henderson lined himself up for a second Bellator title fight in three fights with a second round TKO of Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire in the main event for Bellator 160 at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California, on Friday night.
It was fairly inactive fight as Henderson refused to engage with Freire opting to stick what looked like an obvious counterstrike game plan. However, midway through the second round, as the two men grappled, Freire hurt his leg in the tussle providing Henderson the TKO victory via injury.
The injury may have occurred due to a checked leg kick in the first round as Henderson talked to Jimmy Smith in his post-fight interview.
“I knew for sure when I checked two of his kicks, if you watch the replay, he backed away, right away, immediately,” ‘Smooth’ said. “We worked on checking kicks after the Anderson Silva whole thing, that was kind of popular.
“Everyone was working on checking kicks. So I was definitely working on checking kicks. I didn’t think I’d ever end a fight by checking a kick. I guess I’ll take a ‘W’ where I can get it.”
As the fight was billed as a lightweight title eliminator, Henderson will now on to face lightweight champion Michael Chandler at an event on November 18th in San Jose, California. Chandler, who was in attendance at the weekend, spoke about his desire in wanting to test himself against the former UFC lightweight champion.
“I’m excited,” Chandler said with a smile. “He’s a tough dude. I’ve been looking forward to fighting him for a really long time. People have been talking about this matchup for a long time, so let’s put on a show for Bellator fans.”
Bellator 160 Main Card
- Benson Henderson def. Patricio Freire via TKO (injury) – Round 2, 2:26
- Derek Anderson def. Saad Awad via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Georgi Karakhanyan def. Bubba Jenkins via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:53
- A.J. McKee def. Cody Walker via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 0:32
- Joey Davis def. Keith Cutrone via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Gabriel Green def. Alex Trinidad via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:01
- Andy Murad def. Johnny Cisneros via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jacob Rosales def. Mike Segura via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Chinzo Machida def. Mario Navarro via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:57
- Jake Roberts def. Stephen Martinez via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:24