Remember how back in December, we reported that Rafael Dos Anjos had agreed to fight Rustam Khabilov while under the impression that “Tiger” was actually Khabib Nurmagomedov, the up-and-coming Dagestani grappling machine? Well, it dun happened again.
This time, it’s none other than former lightweight champion Ben Henderson who has apparently mixed up his Russians. After Khabilov was forced to withdraw from his fight with Dos Anjos due to injury (which in turn led to Dos Anjos vs. Nurmagomedov actually being booked), he recently took to Twitter to request a shot at “a fighter like Ben Henderson.” Henderson quickly accepted, but it was what he tweeted back that raised a few eyebrows.
“Seems like no 1 wants to play with u buddy,” tweeted Henderson. The only problem is, it’s Nurmagomedov, not Khabilov, that’s been having trouble finding opponents — both Nate Diaz and Gil Melendez have turned him down in recent months. In any case, Henderson vs. Khabilov has now been booked to headline a TBD “Fight Night” card on June 7th at the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’ll be the UFC’s first-ever event in ABQ, home of the world-renowned Jackson’s MMA camp, where Khabilov trains.
Of course, in Henderson’s eyes, Khabilov and Nurmagomedov pretty much are the same. Both are steadily-rising contenders who have yet to crack the top 15, both are strong grapplers (although Khabilov isn’t afraid to throw some spinning sh*t every now and again), and both are Russian and therefore hate America and Freedom. What other motivation does he need? FOR VICTORY, BENDO. FOR GLORY. FOR *CRIMEA*. WOLVERINES!!!