A lightweight scrap between former champion Ben Henderson and Rustam Khabilov will headline UFC Fight Night 42 on June 7th.
The show will mark the UFC’s first visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a destination that’s well known to fight fans as the home of the famed Jackson’s MMA gym.
Henderson is coming off a narrow split decision win over Josh Thomson in January, his first fight since losing the lightweight strap to Anthony Pettis last year. That was his only loss in nine Octagon appearances so far.
In Khabilov he faces one of Russia’s rising UFC stars who’s compiled a three-fight unbeaten run in the promotion so far, with his latest victory coming by way by decision against Jorge Masvidal at ‘UFC Fight For The Troops 3’ in November.
Khabilov is currently only ranked No.15 in the division, so Henderson, who’s currently placed at No.1, may feel that this is a considerable step down for him, and could be seen as an indication that the UFC isn’t in a hurry to give him another title shot.
Henderson’s decision-heavy record (he’s yet to finish a fight in the UFC) may count against him in that regard, and the fact that the current champ, Pettis has defeated him twice (once in the UFC and once in the WEC) may also lead to him having to notch up a number of wins before getting another bite at the cherry.