Former UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson will take on former Bellator lightweight title holder Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston on January 18th.
Henderson suffered a stunning first round KO loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 49 in August, marking the first time the 30 year old ‘Smooth’ had ever been finished by strikes in his career.
Prior to that Henderson had been on a two-fight winning streak since a submission loss to Anthony Pettis that ended a two year stint as the king of the hill at 155lbs. He’s currently slipped down to No.5 on the official rankings and will now be looking to fight his way back to the top.
Alvarez hasn’t been thrown straight in with the lions since his switch from Bellator earlier in the year, with his debut coming against the in-form Donald Cerrone last month at UFc 178 which he lost by unanimous decision.
Three victories in the Bellator cage had come before that, including reclaiming the lightweight title by split decision from the man who’d taken it from him two years earlier, Michael Chandler, in his final fight for the promotion last year.
Alvarez currently resides at No.10 in the lightweight rankings, so he needs this win to stay in the top 10, and if he was able to overcome Henderson then that would be a major feather in his cap.
Perhaps the biggest surprise here is that this clash of former champions will only serve as the co-main event for the Fight Night show. That’s a testament to the remarkable rise to prominence of Irish star Conor McGregor who will headline the show against Dennis Siver, with a win set to guarantee ‘Notorious’ a featherweight tile shot against Jose Aldo.