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Henderson Looks To Earn Lightweight Title Shot At UFC Fight Night

Posted by Jack “The Hammer” Howard on 6/2/2014 10:15:57 PM

Benson Henderson understands what it takes to be a champion. The top-ranked contender in the UFC lightweight division also knows how close he is to getting another shot at the title. Henderson is scheduled to take on a rising star in Rustam Khabilov, who has won six-straight fights, including his first two in the UFC. Khabilov is 14-1 overall in his MMA career, but there is no doubt that Henderson is the toughest opponent he will face to this point, something that is illustrated by the veteran being a major favorite heading in to what will be a crucial bout for both fighters.

UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov

(20-3-0) Benson Henderson vs. Rustam Khabilov (17-1-0)

Saturday June 7, 2014

Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico

UFC Betting Line: Benson Henderson - 230

Henderson successfully defended his title on three-straight occasions in the midst of a seven-fight win streak, which came to an end when he lost to Anthony Pettis via submission last August. Henderson bounced back with a win over Josh Thomson, and could earn a championship rematch with a win over Khabilov.

UFC Betting Preview: Benson Henderson

The former champion didn’t hold back when addressing this upcoming tilt, and was candid when he said that Khabilov was, “in for a rude awakening.” Henderson has watched enough tape of his loss to Pettis, and he isn’t going to be anymore comfortable after managing just a split decision win over Thomson. A black belt in Taekwondo and BJJ, Henderson has earned just two wins via knockout, compared to eight by submission. Henderson hasn’t consistently shown the power to knock opponents out, but he is extremely quick and accurate, and he will use those skills to dictate the pace of the fight.

UFC Betting Preview: Rustam Khabilov

Khabilov has earned four-career wins via knockout and another five by submission, but he earned his first UFC win versus TKO after Yancy Medeiros dislocated his thumb during an early takedown attempt, and he was forced to go the distance in a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal. The question now is whether or not he will be able to continue to have his way with the more skilled fighters he will have to face to earn a title shot, and nothing from his last two fights suggests that will happen. He’s managed to get the job done to this point, but it’s unreasonable to expect him to be able to squeeze out another close win over a fighter as talented and experienced as Henderson.

UFC Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Henderson is the former champion that has proven he can beat some of the best fighters in the world. He is also eager for another title shot, and the chance to redeem himself after falling to Pettis. It’s unreasonable to expect Henderson to end this fight via stoppage, but it also doesn’t make sense to expect Khabilov to beat him after a couple of underwhelming wins in the UFC. There is a good chance this fights goes the distance, with Henderson coming out on top and earning a shot at the lightweight title.

UFC Betting Pick: Benson Henderson - 230


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