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Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull Preview

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Here is everything you need to know about Bellator 160 including a lightweight number one contender battle between Benson Henderson and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

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This Friday, the Bellator brand of MMA will be invading the Honda Center in Los Angeles, California for Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull. The main event will see former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson take on the former Bellator featherweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire. Tune in to the Bellator 160 main card on Spike TV this Friday night at 10:00 P.M. EDT with the prelims streaming online at 8:00 P.M. EDT.

Main Card: Spike TV at 10:00 P.M. EDT

Benson Henderson (23-6 MMA; 0-1 Bellator) vs. Patricio Freire (25-3; 13-3 Bellator): Lightweight

After a rather rough promotional debut at the hands of Bellator’s welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov, Benson Henderson is dropping back down to the lightweight division to take on the former featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull Freire. Look for Henderson to have a relatively less difficult time setting the tempo of this bout than he did against the much larger Koreshkov. If Benson Henderson can dictate where this fight takes place then he has a solid chance of getting past Pitbull and earning a shot at the Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.

Patricio Freire was the king of Bellator’s featherweight division before dropping his crown to Daniel Straus at Bellator 145 back in November. Since then, Pitbull has rebounded with a second round Guillotine finish of Henry Corrales at Bellator 153. The younger Pitbull brother is now moving up to the lightweight division in hopes of earning a shot at the man who just knocked out his brother Patricky Pitbull in June of this year, Michael Chandler. Does the power punching Pitbull have the tools to take out the former UFC lightweight champion?

Here is Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith on what to watch in Henderson vs. Pitbull:

Saad Awad (19-7 MMA; 7-3 Bellator) vs. Derek Anderson (13-2 MMA; 4-2 Bellator): Lightweight

Both Saad Awad and Derek Anderson are looking to string together back to back wins in hopes to move up the lightweight ladder. Awad is fresh off of a first round TKO of Cyborg Santos, at welterweight, this past May at Bellator 154. Anderson has recently won a razor close split decision against Patricky Freire, a common opponent with Awad, back at Bellator 147 in December of 2015. Both of these guys hit hard but the winner of this bout will likely be the one who sets the pace.

Here is Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith on what to watch in Awad vs. Anderson:

Bubba Jenkins (11-2 MMA; 8-2 Bellator) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-6 MMA; 3-4 Bellator): Featherweight

The first time these warriors faced one another was back at Bellator 132 in January of 2015. The minute and a half match ended in emphatic fashion as Georgi Karakhanyan achieved a technical submission over Bubba Jenkins with a viscous Arm-In Guillotine.

Since their initial bout, Bubba Jenkins has won three in a row while Georgi Karakhanyan has dropped two straight. Jenkins bested the likes of Joe Wilk, the late Jordan Parsons, and Goiti Yamauchi where his opponent Karakhanyan slipped up to Daniel Weichel and former featherweight champion Pat Curran. Has Jenkins improved enough since the first fight to overcome Georgi and move one step closer to a title shot? Can Karakhanyan recreate the magic that sent Bubba into a slumber about a year and a half ago?

Check out the dramatic finish from their first bout at Bellator 132:

AJ McKee Jr. (4-0 MMA/Bellator) vs. Cody Walker (7-4 MMA; 1-1 Bellator): Featherweight

Bellator featherweight prospect AJ McKee, and son of MMA fighter Antonio McKee, looks to remain unbeaten as he is set to face off against a rangey striker in Cody Walker. Both gentlemen have finished all of their respective opponents so the chances of a fireworks display is rather high.

Here is Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith on AJ McKee:

Notables:

Joey Davis, undefeated collegiate wrestler, (Professional Debut) vs. Keith Cutrone (1-0 MMA; Bellator Debut): Welterweight

Chinzo Machida, brother of Lyoto Machida, (3-2 MMA; Debut) vs. Mario Navaro (4-4 MMA; 1-2 Bellator): Featherweight

Watch Bellator 160, live on Spike TV this Friday at 10:00 P.M. EDT with the prelims streaming online at 8:00 P.M. EDT. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your event coverage including The MMA Vivisection, results, highlights, and more!