The main event of the UFC Fight Night 42 featured a lightweight clash between former champion Benson Henderson and rising prospect Rustam Khabilov:?
The first round was back and forth, as the 27-year old Khabilov scored with a couple of takedowns but Henderson, the southpaw, controlled portions of the round with pace and tempo. The pace was deliberate, as each fighter felt the fight out.
In the second round, Khabilov -- who trains with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque -- had a big takedown again, but Henderson using rubber guard was able to push him off and stand up. A short time later he got Khabilov's back, and secured a body lock as he went to work trying for a rear naked choke. He couldn't get it, as the Russian escaped. Henderson began kicking at the legs of Khabilov as the round wore on, which looked to be taking a toll.
The third round was filled with scrambles and transitional offense. At one point, after a heated exchange on the fence, Henderson went for a guillotine choke, but Khabilov popped free. Inside of a minute to go, just as it looked like Khabilov was gassing, he shot in for a takedown and drove Henderson into the canvas. Henderson very coolly reversed and ended up on top as the round ended.
As the championship rounds got underway, Henderson -- who is known for his cardio, and trained in Flagstaff, Arizona to acclimate to the shift in altitude -- was the fresher fighter. After landing a huge uppercut that dropped Khabilov, he swooped in for the choke. Once he sank it, the end came just brief seconds later.
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Fight was scheduled for 5 rounds (5x5x5x5x5)
-Benson Henderson defeated vs. Rustam Khabilov by Submission (RNC, Round 4, 1:16)
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