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Benson Henderson returns against Saad Awad at Bellator 208

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Benson Henderson faces Saad Awad at Bellator 208.

A marquee matchup that could carry title implications for the Bellator lightweight division has been booked for Oct. 13, as former WEC and UFC champion Benson Henderson is slated to return against streaking contender Saad Awad at Bellator 208.

MMA Fighting confirmed the booking Tuesday following an initial report by MMA Junkie.

Henderson (25-8) rolls into the contest fresh off a second-round guillotine finish of Roger Huerta this past April at Bellator 196. The victory snapped a two-fight slump for Henderson which saw the 34-year-old drop back-to-back split decisions at the hands of then-Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and top contender Patricky Freire.

One of the most decorated competitors in the history of the 155-pound division, Henderson owns wins over the likes of Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar (x2), Donald Cerrone (x2), Jorge Masvidal, and Gilbert Melendez, among many others.

Awad (23-9), meanwhile, is riding the best streak of his five-year Bellator career. The 35-year-old Californian has won four consecutive contests to creep his way into title contention, outpointing Ryan Quinn and J.J. Ambrose and earning first-round TKOs over Zach Freeman and Ryan Couture.

Bellator 208 takes place at the at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. A heavyweight grand prix semifinal matchup between Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen headlines the event.

In addition to Henderson vs. Awad, MMA Fighting also confirmed a bantamweight bout between intriguing prospects Mike Kimbel (1-0) and Alex Potts (1-0) for Bellator 207, which takes place Oct. 12 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The 20-year-old Kimbel scored a 63-second slam KO in his professional and Bellator debut this past February, while Potts did the same via first-round kimura last year.

Bellator 207 will be headlined by the other half of the heavyweight grand prix bracket, a semifinal match between light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Matt Mitrione.