Andrey Koreshkov will welcome former UFC 155lb champ Benson Henderson to the Bellator cage at Bellator 153 this Friday night by putting his title on the line in a main event bout.

Koreshkov won the title with a decision victory over Douglas Lima last July, and the night still stands out in the Russian’s memory as the defining moment of his career.

“I was very happy and I was also very relieved that I didn’t fail my coaches, my team, my camp, my school and everyone that was rooting for me. I didn’t fail them. I made good and I won the title,” Koreshkov told FO.

“In this fight I fought as a very different fighter than I usually do. I came in with a different game plan and I fought differently. It was a success and I won the title that night so I am very proud of that fight.”

With Vitaly Minakov in possession of the Bellator heavyweight title, Koreshkov is one of two Russians in possession of a championship in the Viacom-owned MMA promotion.

“I think for any fighter from any country, it’s a great honor to be able to represent your country and especially to do so on such a high level of the sport,” said Koreshkov. “It definitely comes with responsibility. I am very proud to represent my country and at the same time it is motivation for me to perform above and beyond my abilities.”

In Henderson, Koreshkov will be facing the toughest challenge of his career. Such is the high caliber of the former UFC champ, Koreshkov is entering the fight as an underdog despite being the defending champion. But Koreshkov isn’t letting the oddsmakers’ analysis get to him and remains confident of victory.

“In MMA, as you know, it is very difficult to make predictions because anything can happen in the cage. I will try to keep the fight standing and I think the fight will go my way. I look forward to welcoming him to Bellator.”

“I think this fight is a great opportunity for myself to show the world that I am a much better fighter than he is. The world will see and everyone will recognize that I am a much better fighter than he is Friday night.”

Bellator 153 takes place Friday April 22nd at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.