As Benson Henderson prepares for his showdown with Rustam Khabilov he has acknowledged that Russian fighters are “very tough.”
In a recent interview with Submission Radio the former UFC lightweight champion discussed the challenges that Khabilov presents.
“Rustam’s very tough man,” he said. “We all know those Russians, they’re very tough, you know they’re known as a people as being tough, the stereotype so to speak. But he proves it inside the octagon as well. It’s not just a stereotype for him, but it’s fact. He’s a tough kid.”
Henderson is not so worried about Khabilov’s wrestling skills but stated that his opponent will come into the bout in top condition.
“(He’s been) working on his wrestling. His wrestling, his Sambo is his background (and) he’s really good at it. So he’s been at (Greg) Jackson’s now for a while working on improving his overall game of course. His Boxing, his kickboxing, his overall game, working on everything, and he’s getting better. He’s shown improvement in every fight, so me knowing that, me knowing that Jackson’s camp, Greg Jackson and how good that camp is, how good all those fighters are, I know he’ll be a better fighter. This’ll be the best Rustam Khabilov that the UFC has ever seen. So I’m preparing for my best and my best performance so that I can go five rounds, hard, and go out there and show up and show out.”
Henderson has not fought since he was awarded a somewhat controversial decision over Josh Thompson at UFC On FOX 10. Many fans and MMA pundits felt that Thompson won that fight and that Henderson played it safe and tried to do just enough to win the bout. Even Nate Diaz famously expressed his displeasure regarding that fight.
No matter what the critics say, Benson Henderson is not about to change up his style tp please anyone.
“No. I mean, for me to get a title I have to keep on winning. Period. It doesn’t matter, you need to win. People get too caught up in ‘Oh you gotta do this, oh you gotta do that, oh you gotta do that’. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. You gotta go out there and win. First things first. You gotta go out there and get your hand raised.
“Does it help a little so to speak, you know, finishing fights? Of course, yeah. Obviously it helps to finish fights and make a statement and yadda, yadda, yadda, and that sort of stuff. But ultimately it comes down to winning. That’s it.”
People will always complain about the way Benson Henderson fights but the fact is that he is a former champion and he keeps winning. He will be fighting for the lightweight title very soon and there is not much anyone can do about it.