Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson rematch takes Bellator Japan co-main event slot

The co-main event of Bellator Japan, powered by RIZIN, is set, following Friday’s announcement that three-time former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (19-5) will take on Benson Henderson (28-8) in a rematch of their epic 2016 “Fight of the Year” clash.

Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage emanates from the iconic Saitama Super Arena on Sunday, Dec. 29 and will air LIVE on Paramount Network on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.

The finale of Bellator’s 2019 schedule will feature a true heavyweight dream matchup pitting the greatest heavyweight in MMA history, Fedor Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) in a superfight against one of most feared strikers to ever lace up the four-ounce gloves, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13).

Tickets for Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage go on sale November 3. Additional bouts are expected to be announced in coming weeks.

One of the most-decorated fighters in Bellator history, Michael Chandler steps back into the cage for the second time in 2019 in a rematch against former UFC and WEC champion Benson Henderson. With 14 of Chandler’s 19 career victories coming by way of finish, Chandler is tied for most finishes in company history. In addition to previously defeating Henderson, “Iron” Mike has beaten a who’s who among the division’s elite, includingvictories over Eddie Alvarez, Goiti Yamauchi, Patricky Pitbull (2x) and Brent Primus. With wins in three of his last four outings, the three-time Bellator champion looks to regain pole position in the race to reclaim Bellator’s lightweight crown.


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On December 29, “Smooth” Benson Henderson will look to redeem his 2016 razor-thin split decision loss to Chandler and continue an impressive four-fight winning streak that has put him into contention for his second Bellator lightweight title shot since signing with the promotion three years ago. With a resume that includes victories over Nate Diaz, Myles Jury, Donald Cerrone (x2), Frankie Edgar (x2), Jorge Masvidal and incumbent lightweight champion Patricio “Pitbull,” the MMA Lab-product in Arizona has his sights set on a rematch with the aforementioned “Pitbull,” but this time with Bellator gold on the line.

Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage Fight Card

  • Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13)
  • 160-Pound Contract Weight Co-Main Event: Michael Chandler (19-5) vs. Benson Henderson (28-8)