UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. KhabilovSaturday, June 7 – 11:30 p.m. ET
Benson Henderson (20-3) vs. Rustam Khabilov (17-1)5-Round Lightweight bout
Line: Henderson -250, Khabilov +200
Benson Henderson looks to continue his path back to a championship bout as he takes on Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night Saturday night in Albuquerque.
Here is the Bet DSI breakdown on Saturday's UFC Fight Night:
After losing his belt to Anthony Pettis in a first-round submission on Aug. 31, Henderson was able to bounce back with a narrow split-decision win against Josh Thomson on Jan. 25. In that fight, Henderson was able to get the victory by way of split decision. That makes him 8-1 in his past nine fights, with all eight of those victories have been decisions (5 unanimous, 3 split). Henderson is an incredible athlete that has the ability to wear his opponent out with his insane cardio. When he has fallen, it has been because he got off to a slow start. Khabilov comes into this match as the winner of six consecutive fights. In his last win on Nov. 6, he was able to defeat Jorge Masvidal by way of unanimous decision. Khabilov has a very similar fighting style to Henderson, and has an opportunity to really make a name for himself in the sport. While he has proven to be a talented fighter, Masvidal has not gone up against a fighter with the talent of Henderson. In the end, HENDERSON will be too much for his opponent.
"Smooth" Henderson comes into this fight with 20 career victories, with half of those coming by way of decision. He also has six wins by submission, with four others by knockout. Henderson has a slight advantage when it comes significant strikes landed per minute (2.78) compared to Khabilov (2.43), while also being a much more accurate striker (45%) than Khabilov (35%). The 30-year-old Henderson is one of the quickest fighters in the sport, making it very difficult for his opponent to take him to the ground. He has successfully defended 65% of the takedown attempts against him (Khabilov has 50% takedown defense). That will be a huge key in this fight, as Khabilov is at his very best when he is able to take the fight to the ground. If Henderson, who hails from Colorado Springs, CO and fights out of Glendale AZ, comes out from the very beginning ready to fight, he should not have any problems getting the win. However, if he starts out slow, Khabilov is talented enough to pull off the big upset.
"Tiger" Khabilov comes into this fight with 17 wins on his resume, with eight of them coming by way of decision. He also has five wins by submission, with another four coming by way of knockout, and eight of these nine finishes occurred in the first round. The Russian-born Khabilov has a huge advantage when it comes to grappling, as he has a takedown average of 6.07, which more than doubles what Henderson has done (2.74). While the 27-year-old Khabilov does not win a ton of matches by submission, he does a great job of constantly earning points by his takedowns, as well as wearing his opponents out. While it will be difficult to wear Henderson down, scoring points early with some takedowns could be exactly what Khabilov needs to get the decision victory. The 5-foot-10 Khabilov will also have a slight reach advantage standing one inch taller than his opponent, and Khabilov is familiar with this venue since he currently fights out of Albuquerque.