While the majority of the MMA world is focused on Jon Jones’ return to action and Conor McGregor’s cryptic retirement tweet and subsequent removal from the UFC 200 headliner position, Bellator MMA has a solid card lined up for fight fans on Friday, April 22, 2016, where Benson Henderson will look to make history. Having already won titles in the WEC and UFC, Henderson will be looking to win Bellator gold and become the first fighter ever to hold titles in all three organizations.

Standing in his way is Andrey Koreshkov, a dynamic young Russian welterweight with a world-class pankration background. After coming up short in his first title bid against Ben Askren, Koreshkov won four bouts in a row to earn a shot at then champion Douglas Lima. Koreshkov defeated Lina via unanimous decision and is now looking to defend his title and pick up the biggest win of his career.

After having spent the bulk of his career at lightweight, Henderson finished off his UFC career with back-to-back wins in the welterweight division. Now in his new home with Bellator, Henderson is ready to keep his welterweight win streak alive while adding a new belt to his already impressive collection.

Leg Kicks

Henderson will be giving up four inches of reach to Koreshkov so being able to land effectively from the outside will be critical. To do that, Henderson is going to have to utilize his footwork and his powerful leg kicks. By firing out a steady stream of kicks Henderson can stay outside of Koreshkov’s range while taking away his power base.

Control Distance

Distance is going to be key for Henderson on Friday. Koreshkov is a dangerous striker with a lot of weapons so it will be important for Henderson to pick his spots; fighting in the pocket with Koreshkov would not be an ideal situation. Henderson needs to move in and out and keep Koreshkov off balance by changing the range constantly.

Takedowns

While Koreshkov is a talented grappler in his own right, Askren laid out the blueprint when it comes to beating him: takedowns, takedowns, and more takedowns. Henderson may not be on Askren’s level when it comes to pure wrestling but he is one of the best functional wrestlers in MMA. If he can hit his takedowns he can take Koreshkov out of the fight and add Bellator gold to his trophy case.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.