Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson 2 Announced as Bellator: Japan Co-Main Event

Michael Chandler Bellator MMA
Michael Chandler Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson 2 has been booked as the Bellator: Japan co-main event!

Bellator’s trip to Japan this December has another piece in place, and it’s a big one. During Friday’s Bellator 231 broadcast, the promotion announced that a rematch between Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson would serve as the card’s co-main event.

The pairing once again pits former UFC lightweight champ Henderson (28-8) against former Bellator lightweight champ Chandler (19-5). Their first meeting, in 2016 at Bellator 165, saw Chandler defend his 155lbs title against ‘Smooth.’

Since then, both fighters have remained key players in the lightweight division. Chandler would lose the title to Brent Primus in his next fight, after sustaining a leg injury early at Bellator NYC. He’d then take a number of fights while Primus sat out for over a year, eventually winning a rematch last December.

Chandler didn’t hold gold for long though, being stopped by Patricio Pitbull in his next fight, at Bellator 221.

‘Smooth’ would lose a split decision to Patricky Freire after the Chandler fight, but has subsequently won four straight. Most recently, he defeated the debuting Myles Jury via unanimous decision at Bellator 227 last month.

The winner of Chandler vs. Henderson should be a lock for the next title shot, but with double-champ Patricio Pitbull busy with the featherweight grand prix, that could be a way’s away.

Bellator: Japan takes place December 29 (December 28 in the west), going down live at the Saitama Super Arena just outside Tokyo, Japan. Fedor Emelianenko faces Rampage Jackson in the main event.