James Gallagher Injured, Benson Henderson vs. Roger Huerta Booked for Bellator 196 Main Event

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Bellator MMA's Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Pitbull
Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Pitbull Credit: Bellator MMA

James Gallagher is out, and Benson Henderson is in at Bellator 196 next month in Budapest, Hungary.

Just a few weeks away, there has been a major shakeup to the Bellator 196 card. Main event star James Gallagher has been forced to withdraw from the event due to injury. As a result, a new main event has been booked, featuring former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson taking on returning UFC/Bellator veteran Roger Huerta. MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani first announced the news on The MMA Hour.

Gallagher, who has suffered a number of injury woes in his short career, was expected to face the undefeated Adam Borics at the event in Budapest. instead, Benson Henderson (24–8) returns, looking to snap a two-fight losing streak in Bellator. In fact, the Bellator MMA run of ‘Smooth’ has been anything but for the fighter, who signed on with the Viacom-backed promotion as a free agent in 2016. On a two-fight win streak at welterweight in the UFC, Henderson was granted an immediate title shot at 170lbs against then-champ Andrey Koreshkov in Bellator. ‘Bendo’ suffered a unanimous decision loss, and while he won his next bout back at lightweight, it was anything but a definitive win. Opponent Patrício Freire wound up with a leg injury, resulting in a doctor’s stoppage. From there, Henderson was granted another title shot, this time at lightweight against Michael Chandler. He lost a split decision against Chandler, then suffered another split decision defeat a little under a year later to the other ‘Pitbull’ brother, Patricky Freire.

The goal will be to snap that losing streak against Roger Huerta, once a promising UFC  talent on a six-fight win streak. Huerta (24–9–1 (1)), however, would drop his final two UFC appearances before signing with Bellator in 2010. He would go 1-3 in Bellator, which at the time was still headed up by founder Bjorn Rebney. From Bellator he signed on with ONE Championship (then ONE FC), going 2-3 and mixing in a couple of fights in smaller outfits.

Most recently, Huerta, who has been fighting exclusively in Asia and the Middle East since 2012, got himself on a two fight win streak, against ONE’s Adrian Pang and TUF 21/25 veteran Haydar Hassan. The Hassan fight, however, was a DQ victory after Hassan employed illegal elbows.

Bellator 196 takes place April 6 at the Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary.

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Editor at Cageside Press, Jay has been covering the sport of mixed martial arts for several years. His work has appeared on The MMA Corner, What Culture, Cage Pages, MMA News, Today's Knockout, and Fox Sports (via Fansided). Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.

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