Big news for UFC fans in the southwestern part of the US. June 7th will mark the organization's first ever trip to New Mexico, and the main event has already been confirmed. Former WEC and UFC lightweight title holder Ben Henderson is set for a big clash with Dagestan's Rustam Khabilov in Albuquerque:
For Khabilov (17-1), it is a case of "ask and ye shall receive", and he has the added benefit of staying in Albuquerque, where he currently trains at Greg Jackson's famed camp
of sport killers. He's 3-0 in the UFC, coming off a thrilling FOTN decision over Jorge Masvidal in November. Khabilov was scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 170, but the bout was scrapped and dos Anjos is now fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov. He asked to fight Henderson back in February and will get his wish in June.
Henderson (20-3) fought Josh Thomson in the UFC on Fox 10 main event in Chicago this past January, winning a controversial split decision. Aside from his demolition of Nate Diaz, just about every five-round Henderson fight in the UFC that has gone the distance has had some level of debate, and he's won them all. Only Anthony Pettis has been able to best him, and in the process snatched away both the WEC belt and the UFC belt from him.
This is no doubt a big fight in the lightweight division, and Khabilov has the most to gain here if he can upset Bendo. He's been very good in his short time in the UFC and beating a former champion would propel him towards the upper echelon of a crowded class of contenders.
Tickets for this card, which is expected to air on Fox Sports 1, go on sale April 18th, so the full lineup of fights should be announced by then.