After a controversial decision in the co-main event, Benson Henderson and Rustam Khabilov were set to square off in a key lightweight battle in the main event of UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Khabilov could make some noise at 155 by defeating the former champ, while Henderson was hoping to keep his status as one of the top contenders in the lightweight division.
It was going to be interesting to see if we had a changing of the guard in the division.
Round 1: Khabilov was aggressive out of the gate and he landed a quick trip after tying up with Henderson. Henderson bounced right back up to his feet and circled back to the center of the cage. The pace slowed after the first minute of the fight as Henderson was able to keep Khabilov on the outside. Henderson charged forward and tried to put some pressure on Khabilov, but the Russian landed a takedown. Henderson was able to hang tough and broke loose of Khabilov’s grip. Khabilov landed a big elbow against the cage after Henderson over committed, but Henderson walked through the punch. Khabilov caught a kick from Henderson and landed another takedown which led to the round ending with Henderson on his back. FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Khabilov
Round 2: Henderson was finding a home for his straight punches early in the second. Khabilov landed another takedown after a missed shot from Henderson, but the former champ stayed active off his back and created space that allowed him to get back to his feet. After tying up in the clinch, Henderson landed a takedown of his own and began working Khabilov’s back. Khabilov escaped the submission attempt and got back to his feet, but Henderson continued to keep the pressure on. Khabilov landed a trip and circled away from the cage. Henderson finished the round with a strong outside leg kick. FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Henderson (19-19)
Round 3: Khabilov tripped up Henderson to start the third and worked a front headlock to control Henderson’s body. After a knee to the body, the two men separated and returned to their feet. Henderson looked for a takedown, but Khabilov shook it off and landed a big left hook on the break. Henderson landed an uppercut but immediately ended up on his back. Henderson threatened with a guillotine. Khabilov escaped the submission attempt and the chess match for position continued. Khabilov landed another big takedown in the center of the cage, but Henderson quickly spun out and landed on top. FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Khabilov (29-28, Khabilov)
Round 4: Henderson landed a big lead uppercut that stunned Khabilov, and he took advantage of the opportunity by jumping on Khabilov’s back, securing the hooks and immediately choking Khabilov unconscious with a rear-naked choke.
Official Result: Benson Henderson def. Rustam Khabilov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 1:16
The full results from today’s event can be seen below:
Benson Henderson def. Rustam Khabilov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 1:16
Diego Sanchez def. Ross Pearson via split-decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
John Dodson def. John Moraga via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
Rafael dos Anjos def. Jason High via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:36
Piotr Hallmann def. Yves Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:31
Bryan Caraway def. Erik Perez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:52
Sergio Pettis def. Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lance Benoist def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Scott Jorgensen def. Danny Martinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jon Tuck def. Jake Lindsey via submission (heel strike to body) – Round 3, 2:47
Patrick Cummins def. Roger Narvaez via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:28