Benson Henderson’s Bellator debut to come against Andrey Koreshkov on April 22 for Welterweight Title

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Benson Henderson’s first fight for Bellator MMA is now set, and he’ll be sticking with the welterweight division to kick things off in his new home.

According to a report from ESPN.com, Henderson will meet Andrey Koreshkov for Bellator’s Welterweight Title in the main event of Bellator 153 on April 22. That bout will take place from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and will air live on Spike.

Henderson signed with Bellator on Monday after fighting out his final contracted UFC bout in November. The former UFC Lightweight Champion went 11-3 through 14 appearances in the organization; he captured the title back in 2012, and defended it three times before a second loss to Anthony Pettis. He moved to welterweight on short notice last February for a main event bout against Brandon Thatch, and after winning that fight he stuck with the division for his final bout, which he won against Jorge Masvidal in South Korea.

Koreshkov, 25, is 10-1 inside the Bellator cage, with his sole career loss coming against former champion Ben Askren back in July of 2013. He has won five straight fights since that loss, finally capturing the title last July in a five round decision over Douglas Lima at Bellator 140.

Penick’s Analysis: I’m honestly less intrigued by this matchup than I would have been for the Will Brooks fight at lightweight, but if he’s feeling comfortable at welterweight and doesn’t want to cut right now, he shouldn’t. There are some good fights for him at 170 lbs., this definitely being one of them, but there may be more elite opposition down at lightweight. At any rate, he’s got a date and fight set, and Bellator’s got a significant debut around which to build this April 22 card.

[Photo (c) Ron Chenoy via USA Today Sports]

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