On Aug. 7, Benson Henderson and Michael Chandler will finally rematch inside the Bellator cage. The lightweight bout headlines Bellator 243 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. A heavyweight battle between Matt Mitrione and Timothy Johnson will serve as the co-headliner.
The event is the first of three new dates confirmed for the location via a Bellator press release. Bellator 244 will take place Aug. 21 and Bellator 245 will go down on Sept. 11.
Then-champion Chandler and Henderson first met at Bellator 165 in November 2016 with the lightweight title on the line. Chandler won the highly-competitive fight by split decision. The two were scheduled to rematch in December 2019, but a Henderson injury forced the bout to be delayed.
Chandler lost the lightweight title one fight after his successful defense against Henderson and regained the title three fights later. A May 2019 knockout loss to Patricio Pitbull resulted in Chandler losing the title again before rebounding with a win over Sidney Outlaw, who stepped in for the injured Henderson in December.
After the split decision loss to Chandler, Henderson lost another split decision, this time to Patricky Pitbull. Henderson has since gone on a four-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Myles Jury in September 2019.
The co-headliner between Mitrione and Johnson is a match-up of former UFC heavyweights. After four wins to start his Bellator career, Mitirone has lost fights to Ryan Bader and Sergei Kharitonov. Johnson's Bellator career began with back-to-back knockout losses in under two minutes before scoring a first-round knockout of Tyrell Fortune in February.