Henderson was set to go head to head with Michael Chandler for a second time at Bellator Japan in a rematch from their Bellator 165 encounter in November 2016. Chandler won that fight via split decision, retaining his Bellator Lightweight Championship in the process.
However, with Chandler losing the belt in his last outing and Henderson winning his last four fights, the expectation was that things could go a little bit differently this time around.
🔻怪我による欠場が決定したベンソン・ヘンダーソン選手からコメント動画が届いています🔻 pic.twitter.com/VCRgXEhIZC— RIZIN FF OFFICIAL (@rizin_PR) December 5, 2019
We’re now in a position where we don’t really know whether or not the rematch will be rescheduled, but it’s clear to see that Henderson certainly hopes it will be.
“Hey guys, ‘Smooth’ Benson Henderson here,” Henderson said in a statement. “I just wanted to take the time to apologize and say that I got an injury, and I will not be able to participate in the December 29 festivities in Japan. I won’t make it out there, I got hurt, I got an injury. I can’t fight, so I’m sorry. I’m hoping that Bellator reschedules it for later on, Chandler and I, and we’ll be able to settle some things. I just want to say sorry to all of the Japanese fans. I was stoked to make it back out to Japan and perform for you guys once again, but I’m gonna miss it this time. I’ll make it up to you guys.”
The Bellator Japan card, which will be co-promoted with RIZIN, is still going to be incredibly fun from top to bottom, and in regards to the two men in question, it feels like they’re destined to fight at least one more time given how close their first meeting was.
In the meantime, Chandler will meet late replacement Sidney Outlaw.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/5/2019.