Bellator 196: “Henderson vs. Huerta” takes place TONIGHT (April 6, 2018) at Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary, featuring a sterling Lightweight main event as Benson Henderson (24-8) takes on the returning Roger Huerta (24-9-1, 1 NC), while the undefeated Featherweight local favorite Adam Borics (6-0) takes on Teodor Nikolov (11-1).
Bellator 196’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 196) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 196 QUICK RESULTS:
Benson Henderson vs. Roger Huerta — Henderson via sub (guillotine) R2 0:49.
Adam Borics vs. Teodor Nikolov — Borics via KO 1:30 R2.
Denise Kielholtz vs. Petra Castkova — Kielholtz UD 30-27 X3.
Brian Moore vs. Giorgio Belsanti — Moore via sub (guillotine) R1 2:46.
Ed Ruth vs. Ion Pascu — Ruth UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
BELLATOR 196 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Benson Henderson vs. Roger Huerta
Huerta steps in to Geto Boys’ “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta” wearing the Mexican flag trunks and blue gloves. His record is 24-9-1, 1 NC. Benson Henderson comes out to a familiar song for long-time viewers of his fights: “Our God Is An Awesome God.” His record is 24-8 and he sports the white trunks and red gloves. Both men are 34 years old and 5’9”. Henderson owns a slight reach advantage at 71” to 68”. Huerta fights out of Los Angeles, California. Henderson fights out of Glendale, Arizona. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald. They touch gloves during final instructions.
Round 1: Another tap of the gloves gets R1 underway. Henderson lands a body kick and a right hand right away. Huerta backs up and resets. Henderson throws a left head kick and Huerta is stunned. He shoots for a takedown that he knows won’t work and winds up in the clinch. Henderson throws knees to the body then throws Huerta to the ground at 58 seconds. Huerta’s face is bloody. Both men get back up and Huerta goes for the single and then the double. Henderson sprawls and lands another knee when they stand. Henderson charges forward and takes Huerta down to his knees. Huerta is back up at 2:08. Huerta gets a takedown of his own. Henderson gets up and takes the back standing. He tries to jump on the back and get both hooks in but can’t. Huerta throws a kick as they break. Left hook flush and a flying knee from Henderson. Huerta clinches up. Henderson with knees to the body. They break at 4:03. Body kick from Huerta. Huerta with leg kicks. Henderson shimmies and shakes on his feet. Right hook for Henderson. 10-9 round for Henderson.
Round 2: Huerta opens R2 with body and leg kicks but he’s tripped up and put on the ground. He stands up and Henderson pulls guard for a guillotine. It’s over in 49 seconds.
Final result: Benson Henderson wins via guillotine choke at 0:49 of the second round.
Adam Borics vs. Teodor Nikolov
Nikolov has the blue gloves and gray trunks. Borics has the red gloves and black trunks. Borics is 6-0, Nikolov 11-1. Borics has a 69.5” reach to Nikolov’s 66”. Nikolov fights out of Sofia, Bulgaria. Borics fights out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida but hails from Budapest, Hungary. Our referee is Yves Lavigne.
Round 1: Tap of the gloves gets this one underway. Nikolov is content to work from his back foot and let Borics come toward him. He shoots for a takedown at 44 seconds and misses. Borics nails him in the head and the crowd roars. Borics keeps pawing with the left hand as the Hungarian crowd chants his name. Nikolov falls down throwing a kick and Borics lets him back up. Nikolov shoots again at 1:50 and eats a knee from clinch as he breaks. Hard left hurts Nikolov at 2:20. A right uppercut at 2:38. Nikolov gets tagged every time he tries to step into Borics’ range. Another takedown is stuffed as Borics headlocks him and throws him aside at 3:14. Borics throws leg kicks and a jump knee to the body. Nikolov drops levels again at 3:44 to no avail. Borics puts him on the mat and patiently waits to jump on top in half guard. Borics postures up and drops a big right. This is a wipeout round. 10-8 Borics.
Round 2: John McCarthy’s score mirrors my own and Borics comes out just as hungry as he did in the last five minutes. Borics continues to tune Nikolov’s legs up with kicks. A left hook stuns him again. He looks like his ship is sunk already. He throws a left high kick just to make Borics back up momentarily. Body shot by Borics. He faints a jump knee and throws another slapping leg kick. FLYING LEFT KNEE ENDS IT. Lavigne jumps in immediately. No question. Nikolov is still down as Borics puts the Hungarian flag on his back and jumps on the fence to celebrate.
Final result: Adam Borics via flying left knee of doom at 1:30 of the second round.
Denise Kielholtz vs. Petra Castkova
Black trunks and top for Castkova with blue gloves. She’s 3-2 overall. Kielholtz is also in black and has on the red gloves. She’s 1-1 in MMA. 29 to 36, 5’3” to 5’6”, 66” reach each from Kielholtz to Castkova. The latter fights out of Prague, Czech Republic. Kielholtz fights out of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Both women cautiously feel out the range for the first half minute. Castkova backpedals and is pulled to the ground by Kielholtz grabbing her head and twisting her whole body. She keeps the head trapped and Castkova is warned not to hook the fence with her toes. Castkova gets back up at 2:13 and is briefly put down by a right hand. Castkova lands a left to the face. Castkova keeps on backing up and eating left and right hooks as she does. She loses her mouthpiece on a big right from Kielholtz at 4:04. MacDonald warns both women to watch their fingers. 10-9 round for Kielholtz.
Round 2: Castkova tries to throw kicks to open the second round. Probably not the wisest idea to go kick for kick with a kickboxing world champion. She also tries a spinning backfist. Castkova’s pale face is turning more and more red with each strike. Spinning heel kick by Kielholtz at 1:34 followed by a big flurry. Kielholtz sends Castkova flying backward into the cage with a body kick at 2:15. Front push kick follows. Castkova steps out of the way of a big right hand. Kielholtz works the body. She’s bouncing on her feet like it’s still minute one of round one. Kielholtz tries a spinning backfist of her own, Castkova tries to take her down off it, but Kielholtz is immediately back up and hits a left hook as they break. Kielholtz dominates the rest of R2 standing and swells Castkova’s left eye. 10-9 again.
Round 3: Third verse, same as the first. Castkova is constantly backpedaling and throwing desperation strikes. Still you have to give Castkova credit for heart having taken this fight as a late replacement for Ovchynnkova on one week’s notice. Kielholtz repeatedly targets the left eye and throws one-two combos as time ticks down to the last minute. The right hand cleans Castkova’s chin as sand slips through the hourglass but somehow she stays upright. Castkova tries to respond in kind but she swings wildly and misses the target each time. Kielholtz takes her down to side control to ice round three.
Final result: Denise Kielholtz wins via unanimous decision of 30-27 X3.
Brian Moore vs. Giorgio Belsanti
Belsanti walks to the cage wearing white trunks and blue gloves. “The Pikeman” Brian Moore has a the black trunks and red gloves. Moore is 10-6, Belsanti is 7-6-1. 30 to 28, 5’8” in height, 69” to 68” reach. SBG Ireland’s James Gallagher is watching his teammate Moore from a front row seat. Belsanti fights out of Torino, Italy. Moore fights out of Wexford, Ireland. Our referee is Yves Lavigne.
Round 1: Touch of the gloves and we’re underway. Moore rocks Belsanti with a big right 15 seconds in and jumps on top in half guard. Moore stands up at 50 seconds and drops a right hand on Belsanti’s face. Lavigne calls for work and Moore postures up to throw another right. Gallagher passes to half at 2:06. Left elbows keep pounding Belsanti and cutting him up. Belsanti tries to stand and immediately winds up in a guillotine choke. This one is OVER.
Final result: Brian Moore wins via guillotine choke at 2:46 in the first round.
Ed Ruth vs. Ion Pascu
4-0 vs. 17-7 in record, 27 to 35 in age, 6’1” to 5’10” in height, 174.5 to 173.75 in weight, and 77” to 73” reach from Ruth to Pascu. Pascu has the black trunks and blue gloves, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland. Ruth has the black trunks and red gloves, fighting out of Fresno, California. Our referee in charge of the bout is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Touch of the gloves and we are underway. Pascu takes the center and pushes Ruth toward the outer circle. Ruth bounces on his feet and pushes forward. Pascu throws a left high kick and Ruth responds with a right high of his own. Ruth and Pascu keep trying to take the dominant stance. Pascu throws a hard body kick and Ruth ducks as Pascu presses the action. Ruth puts a left on Pascu’s chin and kicks the legs. Pascu with another body kick and a left. Pascu gets caught with a few 1-2 combos and Ruth keeps pressuring looking for the right hand and the uppercut. Ruth slips on a kick but transitions to a single leg and gets the takedown, opening up with right hands from on top with two minutes left in R1. Pascu gets back up with 98 seconds to go. Ruth slips behind Pascu and tries twice to drag him to the ground. He gets it the second time but Pascu stands back up at 3:50. Pascu with a knee to the body and his back to the fence. Both men fight for wrist control and Ruth slips in some dirty boxing uppercuts. Pascu shoots for a takedown but Ruth rolls through it. 10-9 round for Ruth.
Round 2: Ruth charges forward to open R2 and both men trade kicks then trade hands. Ruth widens his hands at 33 seconds to seemingly lure Pascu into throwing at him. He’s walking methodically toward Pascu and practically stalking him. He starts bouncing around on his feet at 1:20. Pascu keeps moving backward constantly. Pascu grazes with a left hook before he’s pushed into the fence. They break at 2:18. Pascu is trying so hard to back up he tries to walk backward through the cage and bounces off. Ruth keeps unloading with rights. Pascu momentarily knocks Ruth off balance with a kick to his leg. Ruth wobbles Pascu with a head kick. Ruth tries to land it again and Pascu gets his hand up. Pascu tags him with a straight right and Ruth smiles. Ruth starts to ground and pound when Pascu slips on a kick. Ruth ends up on top in half guard as the bell sounds. 10-9 again for Ruth.
Round 3: Ruth has his hands on his knees before the bell. It sounds, both men touch gloves, then Pascu shoots for and gets a takedown. Ruth escapes at 35 seconds and gets his own takedown but Pascu is trying to turn it into a guillotine choke. Ruth pops his head out at 1:10. Ruth tries to pass as the clock passes the two minute mark but Pascu puts his knees up to block and keeps him in half guard. Ruth tries to improve again and tags Pascu with a left to the chin. He’s got side control with two minutes left and then jumps to full mount and puts some left elbows on Pascu’s face. He sits up for ground and pound at 3:27 and MacDonald warns him not to throw shots to the back of the head. Pascu tries to get half guard back to slow Ruth’s momentum. MacDonald tells them to work with a minute to go. Pascu moves him to full guard at 4:28. One final 10-9 for Ruth should seal the deal.