Lightweight Rematch, Heavyweight Fight Reportedly Set For Bellator 243
Announcing a return to action earlier this month, Bellator is looking to fill up cards over the next few weeks. Following Bellator 242 this Friday, Bellator 243 is scheduled to feature several other high-profile stars.
It was previously reported that Benson Henderson and Michael Chandler will face off in a rematch.
Both were originally supposed to face one another in Japan last December, but Henderson (28-8) ended up getting injured. The fight was rebooked for Bellator 244 on June 6, but the card was postponed due to the coronavirus. Chandler (20-5) has stated he is interested in exploring his options after this bout, which is the final fight of his current Bellator deal.
After beating Henderson (28-8) via split decision to retain his Bellator Lightweight Championship in 2016 at Bellator 165, Chandler (20-5) lost a bout and the belt to Brent Primus back at Bellator NYC in 2017. He ended up winning three in a row, including the Lightweight Title for the third time. He ended up losing it to Patricio Freire back in 2018. Chandler beat Sidney Outlaw back in December in Japan.
Henderson lost to Freire after the Chandler fight, also by split decision. Since then, the former UFC Lightweight Champion has won four in a row. He has since gone on a three-fight win streak, beating Myles Jury at Bellator 227 in September last time out.
Additionally, MMA Junkie is reporting that a big heavyweight bout has been added. Matt Mitrione and Timothy Johnson will face off to secure their spots in the division.
Mitrione (13-7, 1 NC) is 1-2 in his last four fights with one no-contest. The former NFL star lost to eventual winner Ryan Bader in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. He fought Sergei Kharitonov to a no-contest at Bellator 215 after the latter hit Mitrione with a groin shot in the opening seconds. Mitrione then lost to Kharitonov back in August 2019 at Bellator 225 via TKO.
Johnson (13-6) is a former Dakota FC heavyweight Champion. After trading wins and losses in the UFC, Johnson joined Bellator in 2018. He lost to Cheick Kongo and Vitaly Minakov before beating Tyrell Fortune in February. He ended up winning via knockout.
Bellator 243 is reportedly set for August 7 and will take place inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.