Decatur High School graduate Benson Henderson knows when and where he will defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight belt.
It was confirmed last week that Henderson will take on Canada's T.J. Grant in the main event at UFC 164 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The pay-per-view fight will take place Aug. 31.
Since joining the UFC, Henderson is a perfect 7-0 and 19-2 overall, including four victories in 155-pound title fights. Henderson took over the UFC 155-pound championship in February 2012 with a win over former champ Frankie Edgar in Japan. Since then, he beat Edgar in a rematch in August, won a unanimous decision over Nate Diaz in December 2012 in Seattle and beat Gilbert Melendez in San Jose in April.
Henderson's last loss came back in December 2011 to Anthony Pettis in the final bout in the smaller World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) organization.
Grant was a middle-of-the-road 170-pounder after posting a 3-3 mark in the UFC. But since dropping to 155 pounds, he's posted an impressive 5-0 mark, with wins over Gray Maynard, Matt Wiman, Evan Dunham, Carlo Prater and Shane Roller.
The victory over former title challenger Maynard, which came via first-round technical knockout in May, earned him a title shot.
“I am a little bit surprised," Henderson told fighthubtv.com. "I think most people had Gray winning. Most people picked Gray to win and not only did T.J. prove everyone wrong, but in the manner and in the fashion that he did it, pretty impressive performance for him. I thought Gray was going to be the next guy I faced. I was already kind of preparing for that and now I got a new guy to prepare for."
The match against Grant marks a return to pay-per-view for Henderson. His last two title defenses against Diaz and Melendez were televised on FOX.
Henderson, 29, began his wrestling career during his time at Lakota Middle School and continued wrestling at Decatur. He went on to wrestle at Dana College in Nebraska and started MMA fighting a year after a dare from a couple of wrestlers.