Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson will run it back three years after their first meeting.
Bellator on Friday announced the former champs will meet a second time in the co-headliner of the promotion’s first trip to Japan on Dec. 28. The bout will be contested over three rounds at a catchweight of 160 pounds.
Bellator Japan takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and is headlined by a heavyweight fight between former PRIDE champ Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Chandler, a three-time Bellator champ at 155 pounds, took home a split decision over Henderson at Bellator 165. It was a signature win for the Bellator star to take out the former UFC lightweight champion, who joined the Viacom-owned promotion in hopes of capturing multiple belts.
Chandler lost the lightweight title in May when featherweight champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire moved up in weight and knocked him out at Bellator 221.
”To me, it’s another opportunity to bounce back from a loss, from a subpar performance,” Chandler said during a satellite interview following the promotion’s announcement, which took place during the Bellator 231 broadcast at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Henderson faces Chander a second time on the strength of a four-fight win streak at lightweight, which follows an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Bellator welterweight title.
”I think I definitely won the first fight, but my opinion doesn’t really matter,” Henderson said. “I’m going to make sure in this fight, the judges’ opinions don’t matter.”
Henderson, a former UFC lightweight champ, hasn’t fallen short in the Bellator cage since a split-call defeat against Freire’s older brother, Patricky Freire, following his loss to Chandler.