Andrey Koreshkov is unbeaten over the past two-plus years.

The Bellator welterweight champion has disposed of Douglas Lima, Adam McDonough, Justin Baesman, Nah-Shon Burrell and David Gomez since a 2013 loss to Ben Askren.

However, he’ll be the decided underdog come Friday night and Bellator 153 when he defends his title for the first time against Bellator newcomer Benson Henderson. The contest takes place live on Spike TV from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Koreshkov (18-1) won the belt last July when he dominated Lima in earning a decision victory. His road to the championship included capturing the Season 10 welterweight tournament title with a victory over McDonough after landing a highlight-reel flying knee on Baesman and finishing Burrell in just 41 seconds.

Overall, the 25-year-old Russian is 9-1 with Bellator and also won the Season 7 tournament title when he bested veteran Lyman Good back in 2012.

Like his opponent, Koreshkov spent time in the lightweight division before finding his home at 170 pounds. He captured gold at the 2010 World Combat Games in Beijing in Pankration, along with winning the World Championships that year.

Of his 18 pro wins, 10 have been knockouts and three others via submission. In his loss to Askren, he pushed the current ONE champion to the fourth round.

A disciple of Alexander Shlemenko, Koreshkov has trained at BJ Penn’s gym, Black House and Reign Training Center. He is, for all intensive purposes, a complete mixed martial artist.

Henderson (19-2) isn’t the same fighter that won 19 of his first 21 pro bouts, including victories over Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Frankie Edgar and Donald Cerrone.

He’s gone 4-3 over his last seven, including a submission loss to Anthony Pettis and a knockout defeat at the hands of Rafael dos Anjos.

Yes, those are two of the elite in the world, but they showed there are weak links in the armor of “Smooth.” Cerrone also was able to control the action in their rematch last year.

While Henderson could very well be untouchable in Bellator, he will not be facing a walk-over in this Russian.

About The Author

Dana Becker
Staff Writer

Dana Becker is an MMA reporter for The MMA Corner. Along with covering the sport, Dana is also a sports writer for a daily newspaper in Iowa, where he lives with his wife and two sons.