Benson Henderson returns to lightweight, meets former Bellator Champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire on August 26 [Updated]

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Benson Henderson is returning to lightweight, and he’ll make his second Bellator appearance against former Bellator Featherweight Champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire next month.

According to a report from the LA Times, the Henderson-Freire bout will headline the Bellator portion of a two night MMA/boxing event with Premier Boxing Championships from the the Honda Center in Anaheim, Ca. on August 26 and August 27.

The 32-year-old Henderson entered Bellator as a free agent earlier this year, losing to Welterweight Champ Andrey Koreshkov by decision in April. That snapped a two-fight winning streak in the 170 lb. division, and now the former UFC Lightweight Champion returns home to 155 lbs.

Freire, off an April submission win over Henry Corrales, moves up in weight for the first time in his career in this bout. 13-3 overall in the Bellator cage, Freire has won eight of his last nine fights over the last three years.

Penick’s Analysis: That’s a really interesting fight. Freire will be giving up a lot of height and weight in this one, but he’s extremely talented in his own right and makes for a highly interesting foil for Henderson’s second fight. A win here should put him into the No. 1 contender spot in the division, and he’ll be likely favored over champ Michael Chandler.

UPDATE: Spike has clarified that the two events will take place over two nights from the same arena.

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

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