Benson Henderson (24-6) earned his first victory since joining the Bellator MMA fray at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Friday night. A faulty kick by Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (25-4) led to a leg injury, forcing him to forfeit the loss two minutes and 26 seconds into the second round.
After making the jump up to Bellator MMA’s 170-pound division, Henderson returned to where he was dominant in the UFC as a lightweight. After the win, Henderson received word of his next opponent; Bellator MMA’s current Lightweight Champion, Michael Chandler. The two are scheduled to tangle November 19 in the main event of the recently announced “Bellator MMA in San Jose.”
‘Fight of the Year Candidate Ends in Unanimous Decision Victory for Anderson
It took all three rounds to determine a winner in the evening’s co-main event, but in the end, Derek Anderson (14-2) emerged victorious with a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 twice) win over Saad Awad (19-8). “The Barbaric” continues his recent trend of extending fights through the final round, as the win marks his third consecutive fight to go to the judges’ scorecards. The San Diego native has now recorded five wins under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion, including multiple victories over fellow lightweight Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, earning himself well-deserved respect among the division’s elite.
Karakhanyan’s “Insane” Knockout Puts Early end to Jenkins’ Night
Georgi Karakhanyan (25-6-1) needed only 53 seconds to finish Bubba Jenkins (11-3), as the Russian featherweight took care of “The Highlight Kid” for the second time in two years. “Insane” came out firing, landing multiple blows that sent Jenkins to the mat with an early knockout, earning his 11th win in his last 14 fights. The loss is only the third of Jenkins’ young career and second of the first round variety, both of which Karakhanyan is now responsible for. The win is the fifth knockout of Karakhanyan’s career and is his third in the opening frame.
McKee Remains Undefeated With Impressive Guillotine Finish
In the opening contest at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull,” A.J. “Mercenary” McKee (5-0) remained unbeaten with a guillotine choke submission 32 seconds into the second round. By extending the fight past the opening frame, Walker was able to do what no other opponent has done, as each of McKee’s previous four wins had resulted in a first round finish. The win capped off an impressive night by Team Bodyshop, as McKee’s teammates Joey Davis (1-0) and Gabriel Green (4-0) also had their arms raised in the preliminary portion of the event. As one of Bellator MMA’s top young talents, the 21-year-old McKee was able to prove once again that he belongs among the division’s elite. After the fight, the Long Beach native called out Patricio “Pitbull,” saying “It’s nothing personal, I want (Daniel) Straus.”
Preliminary Card Results:
Jake Roberts (7-0) defeated Stephen Martinez (11-5) via TKO at 4:24 of round one
Chinzo Machida (4-2) defeated Mario Navarro (4-5) via TKO at 2:57 of round one
Jacob Rosales (4-2) defeated Mike Segura (4-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 twice)
Andy Murad (13-2) defeated Jonny Cisneros (9-5) via unanimous decision (29-28)
Gabriel Green (4-0) defeated Alex Trinidad (1-2) via TKO at 2:01 of round two
Joey Davis (1-0) defeated Keith Cutrone (1-1) via unanimous decision (30-27)
Steve Ramirez (5-1) defeated Ron Henderson (4-3) via TKO at 2:24 of round one
David Duran (4-4) defeated Kyle Estrada (3-3) via split decision (29-28)
The official weigh-ins for “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” took place this afternoon in front of a loud and excited crowd just outside of the Honda Center in Anaheim. The competitors are ready for action tomorrow at the Honda Center, with the event airing LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
The main card is highlighted by a lightweight main event between fellow superstars Benson Henderson (23-6) and Patricio “Pitbull” (25-3), where a future title shot will be on the line. In addition, undefeated knockout artist A.J. McKee (4-0) clashes with late-replacement Cody Walker (7-4) and explosive lightweights Saad Awad (19-7) and Derek Anderson (13-2) go toe-to-toe in a matchup that you do not want to miss. Lastly, Bubba Jenkins (11-2) will look for revenge against Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan (24-6-1) in a featherweight rematch.
Also, during the card’s prelims, you won’t want to miss as Joey Davis makes his Bellator MMA debut, and Lyoto Machida’s brother Chinzo Machida makes his promotional debut as well.
“Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” takes place on August 26 inside Anaheim’s Honda Center, and will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT., while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT.
Very few tickets remain, and are available at Ticketmaster.com and at the Honda Center Box Office.
Also during today’s festivities, Bellator MMA and Shawne Merriman announced a joint venture that will allow the former NFL superstar to sell his popular fashion line “Lights Out” during Bellator events worldwide. Fans attending Bellator events will now have the exclusive opportunity to purchase Merriman’s highly sought after line of \ lifestyle gear ranging from t-shirts to hats to sweatshirts. An avid Bellator fan, Merriman can often be found cageside at events, and this will continue for the foreseeable future.
Main Card: (Live on SPIKE – 10 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT)
Lightweight No. 1 Contender Main Event: Benson Henderson (156) vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (155.4)
Lightweight Feature Bout: Saad Awad (155.5) vs. Derek Anderson (155.6)
Featherweight Feature Bout: A.J. McKee (145.6) vs. Cody Walker (145.3)
Catchweight Feature Bout: Bubba Jenkins (145.8) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (149)
Preliminary Card: (Bellator.com – 7:45 p.m. ET/6:45 p.m. CT)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Joey Davis (174) vs. Keith Cutrone (175)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jake Roberts (155.8) vs. Stephen Martinez (156)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Gabriel Green (155.4) vs. Alex Trinidad (156)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Steve Ramirez (126) vs. Ron Henderson (125.7)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Kyle Estrada (125.8) vs. David Duran (125.7)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Mike Segura (155.5) vs. Jacob Rosales (155)
Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jonny Cisneros (174.5) vs. Andy Murad (175)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Chinzo Machida (145.2) vs. Mario Navarro (145.8)