Two high-profile featherweight attractions have been added to the main card of the recently announced “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” event on August 26 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The first pitting the undefeated A.J. McKee (4-0) against Henry Corrales (12-3), and the second newly-announced bout will see Bubba Jenkins (11-2) attempt to avenge a previous loss against Georgi Karakhanyan (24-6-1).
The main event of the evening features a marquee matchup at 155-pounds, when Benson Henderson (23-6) returns to the division that he reigned supreme over for the many years to face former featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” (25-3), who is moving up in weight for the bout. Both men will be vying for a shot at Michael Chandler’s championship belt when they meet on August 26 in Anaheim.
At 21 years of age, McKee is undoubtedly one of the of mixed martial arts top young prospects. After beginning his career 7-1 as an amateur, “Mercenary” has made a splash on the professional circuit, recording a perfect 4-0 mark through his first four bouts. McKee has fought under the Bellator MMA banner since day one of his professional career, finishing all of his contests in the opening frame, including three knockouts and a rear-naked choke submission. The Long Beach, Calif. native will bring his flashy skillset just down the 91 Freeway to Honda Center, where he will have the opportunity to put on a show in front of his hometown fans.
After beginning his professional career 12-0, Corrales will enter the cage for the second time this year in search of his first win under the direction of Bellator MMA. Since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion, Corrales has fought nothing short of elite talent, challenging current champion Daniel Straus, Emmanuel Sanchez, and Patricio “Pitbull” on short notice. Of his 12 career victories, the 29-year-old featherweight has earned four knockouts and six submissions; including a brutal knockout of Gustavo Limon just 20 seconds into round one. Fighting out of Whittier, Calif., Corrales will share the home floor with his opponent and fellow California native, A.J. McKee, in Anaheim during the main card of “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” on August 26.
A longtime veteran of Bellator MMA, Karakhanyan will look to get back on track after dropping two closely-contested decision losses against Jenkins, who he handily defeated nearly two years ago via guillotine submission. Known to many mixed martial arts fans and pundits as “Insane,” the 31-year-old has finished 18 of his 24 wins as a professional, winning titles in multiple regional promotions along the way. A product of Millenia MMA in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where he trains alongside close friend Saad Awad, the Russian fighter is finally healthy following multiple setbacks to his knee. Karakhanyan now looks to climb the 145-pound ladder, in a stacked division that he once sat atop as the No. 1 contender.
Just a few years ago, Bubba Jenkins was widely regarded as the top MMA prospect in all of the sport, though the title became tainted following the aforementioned loss to Karakhanyan at “Bellator 132.” The former NCAA National Champion wrestler with Arizona State University now has three consecutive wins under his belt, and is looking for redemption. Heading into his 11th fight under the Bellator MMA banner, the 28-year-old “Highlight Kid” looks to put on a stand-out performance in Bellator’s incredibly deep featherweight division.
Updated “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” Main Card:
Bellator MMA Lightweight No. 1 Contender Main Event: Benson Henderson (23-6) vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (25-3)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: A.J. McKee (4-0) vs. Henry Corrales (12-3)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Bubba Jenkins (11-2) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-6-1)Check out our latest podcast episode featuring Adam Milstead & Dinis "Sweetbread" Paiva