SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/29: Benson Henderson updates his status after knee surgery, Matt Hamill, Jacare, Nam, Belfort, OSP (w/Analysis)

By Cole Henry, MMATorch contributor

Benson Henderson (art credit Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Benson Henderson plans late summer return following knee surgery

Benson Henderson has struggled a bit in his Bellator run, but he will soon get a chance to set the ship in the right direction. The former UFC Lightweight Champion and current Bellator top contender has stated the he would like to return to Bellator sometime in the later summer. Henderson revealed that he was suffering from a badly damaged knee in his last few fights, and opted for surgery to repair the issue.

He stated that the injury occurred while he was training for his Bellator debut, which was a Welterweight Title fight against then-champion Andrey Koreshkov and, while he said it didn’t factor into the decisions in those fights, it did gradually get worse until he was left with no option besides surgery.

Henry’s Analysis: Hopefully he returns as good as ever, because personally I would love to see a rematch with Michael Chandler sometime down the road. He stated that the knee injury was pretty severe, which is never a good thing for an athlete, but he has always seemed like a fairly disciplined guy so I would imagine that he is making sure he is going all that he can to return in good shape. I’ve always been a fan of Hendersons and look forward to his return to the Bellator cage.

Matt Hamill Knockouts Luiz Cane

In a bit of a blast from the past, two UFC veterans battled on the regional circuit. At Fight 2 Night 2, Hamill wobbled Luiz Cane with a well-placed shot, then finished him with the follow up shot at the 38 second mark. It was the first win for Hamill since 2012, and Cane’s first loss since 2014. Hamill is now 40 and I’m left wondering if he will choose to compete again, and if not this is certainly a feel-good ending to what has always been a good MMA story for the deaf fighter.

Tyson Nam Knockouts Ali Bagautinov

Tyson Nam is perhaps not a name that comes to mind when thinking of the sports top fighters, but he has certainly managed to defeat a few that do. Nam first broke onto the mainstream scene when he shocked Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas, knocking him out at a show in Brazil. Following the victory, his name picked up steam and he was a bit of a hot prospect for a bit until a poor showing in World Series of Fighting. A four-fight skid took him off the map. He returned to the mainstream MMA consciousness over the weekend, though, stunning former UFC Flyweight Title challenger Ali Bagautinov with a head kick knockout as time expired in their fight, which took place on the main card of Fight Nights Global 64. With the win, he became the first man to ever stop Bagautinov, and in the process extended his unbeaten streak to four.


-Following his loss to Kelvin Gastelum, Vitor Belfort stated that he wanted one final fight, and he wanted it in his native Brazil. While most fighters coming off three straight losses don’t have many wishes granted, most fighters aren’t Belfort. UFC has announced that he will compete for the final time against fellow long-time veteran, Nate Marquardt. For the longtime fans of Belfort, they will get once last chance to watch “The Phenom” grace the Octagon before walking away into the sunset.

-Rumors are circulating that Ovince St. Preux will fill the slot left open by Kelvin Gastelum. Following the announcement that Gastelum was pulled from his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 212, it was soon stated that Silva would be staying on the card, and a flood of rumored opponents began to surface. OSP is just the latest, and until a fight is formally announced we can only speculate.

-Top UFC middleweight Ronaldo Jacare Souza had surgery recently on a damaged pectoral muscle. He stated that he will return stronger than ever, but the recovery period is expected to last anywhere from six months to a year.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST: Big John McCarthy says weight cutting worse than PEDs, McGregor-Mayweather stalled, Bader on Bellator benefit (w/Henry’s Analysis)

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