Ben Henderson’s Bellator 153 debut did not go according to plan last night, with the former UFC star suffering a convincing decision loss to the promotion’s welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov.

Henderson had began his stint at welterweight two-fights earlier while still signed to the UFC, and managed to defeat Brandon Thatch and Jorge Masvidal despite appearing undersized for the weight class.

However, against the bigger, stronger Koreshkov, the 32 year-old found the going extremely tough from the beginning of the five round fight through to the final bell 25 minutes later.

Koreshkov butchered Henderson’s body with kicks and punches in the opening round and then nearly finished him with a flying knee that dropped the Bellator newcomer.

Koreshkov would continue to dominate Henderson throughout the the fight and dropped him with strikes several times, which left Henderson desperately trying to work takedown attempts that Koreshkov would easily shrug aside.

In the end it’s a testament to Henderson’s toughness and willpower that he managed to make it to the end of the fight, but this was a nightmare start to his Bellator run, with Koreshkov winning a clean sweep on the scorecards (50×45 x3) as he notched up his sixth win in a row in highly impressive fashion to go 19-1 overall in his career to date.

In the co-main event Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire tapped out Henry Corrales with a guillotine choke submission late in the second round after a largely uneventful fight up to that point.

Elsewhere, Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos won his Bellator debut with a heel hook submission just 30 seconds into his fight with Brennan Ward, and Michael Page enjoyed a similarly swift toehold submission victory against Jeremie Holloway which came mid-way through the opening frame.

See all the results from Bellator 153 below.

Main Card:

Andrey Koreshkov def. Benson Henderson via unanimous decision (50-45 x3)
“Pitbull” Freire vs. Henry Corrales via submission (guillotine) (R2, 4:09)
“Cyborg” Santos def. Brennan Ward via submission (heel hook) (R1, :30)
Michael Page def. Jeremie Holloway via submission (toehold) (R1, 2:15)
Brent Primus def. Gleristone Santos via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Prelims:

Sam Watford def. Dean Hancock via submission (armbar) at 1:24 of R1
Chris Foster def. Vovka Clay via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Djamil Chan def. Richard Patishnock via first-round TKO (3:09)
Chris Honeycutt vs. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-27)
Mike Zichelle def. Joe Cronin via submission (rear-naked choke) (R1, 1:25)
Matt Bessette def. Keith Richardson via second-round TKO (3:14)
Tim Caron def. Justin Sumter via TKO (punches) at 3:38 of R2
Blair Tugman def. Jay Perrin via split decision (30-27 27-30, 29-28)

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