Henderson vs. Freire headlines, Roy Nelson makes promotional debut at Bellator 183

Patricky Freire

Former UFC champion Benson Henderson returns to Bellator to face Patricky Freire.  Bellator 183 takes place September 23rd at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA with an undercard webcast at Spike.com, main card broadcast on Spike TV.  Five additional kickboxing fights including a welterweight title fight between Karim Ghajii and Raymond Daniels will not be broadcast.

24-7 Benson Henderson is best known for being the UFC lightweight champion from February 2012 until April 2013 but he is arguably a bigger star in Bellator despite going 1-2 in the second-largest promotion.  Henderson entered Bellator at welterweight where he lost a title fight against Andrey Koreshkov then returned to lightweight to defeat Patricio Freire in a title eliminator then lost to defending champion Michael Chandler with the Chandler fight coming in November 2013.  Patricio’s brother Patricky enters this bout 17-8 or in Bellator 10-7.  Patricky lost to Chandler for the then-vacant title in June 2016, since then his only fight was a KO of UFC vet Josh Thomson in February.

Roy Nelson

The co-main event serves as the Bellator debut for UFC standout Roy Nelson who takes on Javy Ayala.  Nelson may be a fan favorite but his record rests at 22-14, 2-3 in the last two years.  Nelson halted his three-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision over Jared Rosholt but has been winning only fifty percent of his fights lately with his follow-up being a split decision loss to Derrick Lewis, KO of Antonio Silva, and most recently unanimous decision loss possibly prophetically to former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov in April.  Ayala is much less experienced at 10-5, 5-2 in Bellator.  After losing top Alex Huddleston and Carl Seumanutafa Ayala turned his career around with victories over Roy Boughton and Sergei Kharitonov in 2016, this being his first fight in almost eleven months.

Prelims on Spike.com

  • Flyweight: Anthony Castrejon vs. Daniel Gonzalez
  • LW: Luis Jauregui vs. JJ Okanovich
  • WW: Alex Lopez vs. F. Trevino
  • W Flyweight: Corina Herrera vs. Jaymee Nievara
  • FW: Brandon Laroco vs. Gaston Bolanos
  • LHW: Mike Ortega vs. Tony Johnson
  • BW: Ricardo Vasquez vs. Justin Tenedora
  • W Flyweight: Brooke Mayo vs. Kaytlin Neil

Main card on Spike TV

  • FW: Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn
  • LW: Goiti Yamauchi vs. Adam Piccolotti
  • WW: Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • W: Javy Ayala vs. Roy Nelson
  • LW: Benson Henderson vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire