Sports

UFC: Federal Way native Henderson wins by submission, title talk restarts

Benson Henderson (left), a Decatur High School graduate and former UFC lightweight champion, took a step towards regaining his title with his recent submission win over Rustam Khabilov.  - Courtesy of MMA Fighting
Benson Henderson (left), a Decatur High School graduate and former UFC lightweight champion, took a step towards regaining his title with his recent submission win over Rustam Khabilov.
— image credit: Courtesy of MMA Fighting

Benson Henderson, a Decatur High School graduate and former UFC lightweight champion, took a step towards regaining his title with his submission win on Saturday over Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night in Albuquerque, N.M.

According to ESPN.com, the submission win over Khabilov was Henderson’s first since 2010, when he choked out Donald Cerrone at WEC 48.

“I do my talking in here [the Octagon],” Henderson said in a post-fight press conference. “The title isn’t being defended, so whoever wants to fight for the title, come see me.”

Henderson had a long streak of decision wins in the last four years, winning and defending his title a number of times with close, and sometimes criticized, judges’ decisions. At UFC Fight Night 42, Khabilov started out strong against the Federal Way native, easily taking the first few rounds of the fight.

In the fourth round, however, Henderson landed an uppercut on the Dagestan native, followed by a straight left that put Khabilov on the ground. Henderson took advantage, applying a rear-naked choke hold for the win. The win puts Henderson at 21-3 in his career.

Henderson first took hold of the lightweight championship in 2012, when he defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 in Japan. Henderson then defended his title from Edgar at UFC 150 in Denver, Colo. He successfully defended the title two more times against Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez in 2012 and 2013, before Anthony Pettis took it from him at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Wis. Before Henderson’s successful streak in UFC, Pettis was the last fighter Henderson had lost to in the WEC in 2010.

Henderson 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.

 

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