The Bellator MMA cage was in Budapest, Hungary on Friday for Bellator 196: Henderson vs. Huerta. Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson faced Roger Huerta in the fight card’s main event at the Budapest Sports Arena and dominated “El Matador.”
Henderson signed with Bellator MMA in February 2016 and made his promotional debut at Bellator 153 losing to Andrey Koreshkov in a welterweight title fight. “Smooth” returned to the lightweight division for his next fight and picked up his first Bellator MMA win by finishing Patrício Freire. Heading into Friday’s bout against Huerta, Henderson was coming off back-to-back split decision losses. In desperate need of a win, Henderson dominated Huerta.
Known as a slow starter, Henderson came out inflicting damage on Friday. He landed a kick to the body followed by a right hand to start the fight. He opened up a cut over Huerta’s right eye after landing a head kick in the early going to the opening round. Huerta wasn’t able to mount any offense in the first frame.
Huerta came out with a sense of urgency in the second round. He delivered a kick to the body and landed a right hand that got Henderson’s attention. Huerta slipped after stepping on Henderson’s foot and Henderson quickly capitalized. Huerta tried to get back to his feet but Henderson applied a guillotine choke and pulled guard to tighten it down. Seconds later Huerta tapped out.
“For me, I have to get finishes. I know that. I need to work on that. I need to do better. It’s on my shoulders. It’s on me to do better. You’re not going to give me decisions? Fine. No problem. Don’t give me the decisions. I’ll earn the finishes. I’ll earn the stoppages,” he said following his first win since August 2016.
In the co-main event, Hungary’s own Adam “The Kid” Borics remained unbeaten extending his record to 7-0 by knocking out Teodor Nikolov in the second round of a one-sided fight.
Borics dismantled Nikolov. Nikolov was unable to close the distance and absorbed several heavy strikes. Borics dictated the pace and the range on his way to a highlight reel finish. The end came early in the second frame. Borics jumped into the air with a right knee. Nikolov avoided it and looked for a takedown when Borics unloaded the left knee that landed perfectly. Nikolov was knocked out immediately and crashed to the canvas on his back.
“I am so happy. I came back home last week to fight at home. This is awesome,” he said after the knockout finish.
With the win, Borics emerged as a potential contender in the featherweight division. He was originally scheduled to face fellow undefeated James Gallagher but Gallagher was forced out of the fight due to injury.
“I want to fight next time with Gallagher,” he said.
Bellator 196 Full Results:
– Benson Henderson def. Roger Huerta by submission (rear-naked choke) at
– Adam Borics def. Teodor Nikolov by KO (flying knee) at 1:30, R2
– Denise Kielholtz def. Petra Castkova by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
– Brian Moore def. Giorgio Belsanti by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:46, R1
– Ed Ruth def. Ian Pascu by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
– Norbert Novenyi Jr. def. Mehmet Yueksel by submission (rear-naked choke)