The UFC is headed to Albuquerque, NM on June 7th for a UFC Fight Night. In the main event of the evening, former UFC Lightweight champion, Benson Henderson will take on the Dagestani, Rustam Khabilov, in what could possibly be a #1 contender’s bout.
UFC news broke the announcement on Twitter earlier:
— UFC News (@UFCNews) March 18, 2014
If you recall, Rustam Khabilov took to Twitter to call out Henderson last month:
— Rustam Khabilov (@KhabilovMMA) February 11, 2014
Henderson replied, indicating that he was ready to fight Khabilov:
— Benson Henderson (@BensonHenderson) February 11, 2014
Henderson’s sly remark about no one wanting to fight Khabilov was actually a mistake on his part. The fighter that Dana White claimed no one wanted to fight was Khabib Nurmagomedov, not Rustam Khabilov. Henderson admitted that he confused Khabib and Rustam, but did not back away from his acceptance of the fight.
Henderson is coming off of a razor close decision victory over Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 10. The fight had all the makings of a #1 contender’s bout, but in the end it was marred by the controversial decision. The UFC opted to give Gilbert Melendez the next shot at the UFC title, and instead have Henderson take on Khabilov.
Khabilov was set to face Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 170 in February, but an injury forced him out of the bout. Ironically, Rafael Dos Anjos also confused Khabilov with Nurmagomedov. Dos Anjos believed he was fighting Nurmagomedov when he signed the contract, but in reality, he had signed on to fight Khabilov. In the end, Dos Anjos was pulled from UFC 170 and given the Nurmagomedov fight at UFC on FOX 11 in April.
Khabilov’s last fight was an impressive victory over Lightweight stalwart, Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight For the Troops 3. He will certainly take on his toughest test to date when he faces Henderson, but if he wins he could find himself within reach of a UFC title.