Henderson To Battle Khabilov In Lightweight Tilt

Published on March 18th, 2014 2:25 pm EST

The UFC revealed earlier today via their Twitter account that Benson "Smooth" Henderson has agreed to take on Rustam Khabilov in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on June 7th. The card is set to take place in New Mexico.

Here is what the UFC said about the fight via their Twitter account:

"UFC heads to Albuquerque on June 7th with @BensonHenderson vs @RustamTheTiger."

Ben Henderson is looking to continue his momentum following his split decision win over Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Thomson. Henderson had been pressing for a title shot, but with Anthony Pettis agreeing to coach opposite of Gilbert Melendez on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, Henderson decided to fight in the interim instead. Prior to the Thomson fight, Henderson had dropped his Lightweight title to Anthony "Showtime" Pettis at UFC 164.

Rustam Khabilov is not going to be an easy out for Henderson. Khabilov is undefeated in his first three fights in the UFC, having beaten the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Yancy Medeiros and Vinc Pichel.

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Ben Henderson likes to rely on his wrestling and grinding style to win fights, but Khabilov is also very good at takedowns and takedown defense. Khabilov has the distinction of being an international master of sports in Sambo, which means that Henderson is likely going to have a hard time taking the fight to the mat.

It will be interesting to see the strategies for both men in this fight.

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The winner of Henderson/Khabilov will move closer to a title shot. Having said that, with Melendez and Pettis likely not fighting until the end of 2014, it will be a long time before either Henderson or Khabilov would be able to fight for the title.


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