During the kickoff of Bellator’s Spring and Summer 2020 Showcase on Monday, promotion officials announced a return to Chicago, IL. Bellator 244 will feature former lightweight champion Michael Chandler, taking on former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson for the second time. Also featured on the card, another key bout in the featherweight grand prix: A.J. McKee vs. Darrion Caldwell.
The event will take place Saturday, June 6 at the Wintrust Arena.
Chandler (20-5) and Henderson (28-8) first met in 2016. Chandler, then a defending champion, won a split decision in that meeting, at Bellator 165. From there, he’d lose the belt off an injury TKO to Brent Primus, win it back, and lose it again to Patricio Pitbull last year.
Chandler bounced back with a win over Sidney Outlaw at Bellator 237 in Japan. He and Henderson were originally paired up at the event, until ‘Smooth’ was forced out with an injury.
Henderson, meanwhile, is on his best run in years. He has picked up wins in four straight fights, most recently against fellow UFC ex-pat Myles Jury. Henderson has had two title shots in Bellator, at welterweight and lightweight, but came up short in both. A win over Chandler would make it five straight trips to the winner’s circle, and make him a front-runner for a shot at Patricio Pitbull.
A.J. McKee, meanwhile, will put his 16-0 record on the line against Darrion Caldwell (15-3). McKee has defeated Georgi Karakhanyan and Derek Campos thus far in the featherweight grand prix, while Caldwell has moved past Henry Corrales and another undefeated prospect, Adam Borics. The fight is a tournament semi-final.