UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was a big night for Benson Henderson, as the former lightweight champion scored his first stoppage victory inside the Octagon. His fourth-round rear-naked choke of Rustam Khabilov showed us that Henderson is capable of more than simply doing enough to earn a decision, cementing his spot at No. 1 in the UFC’s rankings.
Is Henderson evolving into a full-blown finisher? That much remains to be seen. While we don’t know whom he’ll face in his next outing, we know it won’t be Anthony Pettis, who is currently gearing up to coach the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Gilbert Melendez.
The two opposing coaches will face off for the lightweight title at the end of the year, leaving Henderson to continue his uphill march back to contention. With most of the lightweight heap already booked in upcoming fights, who should be next for Henderson?
Should he wait for the winner of one of the highly anticipated lightweight scraps taking place over the next two months? Or should he take on someone who doesn’t currently have a dance partner?
Should he take on someone down the ladder a bit, such as Joe Lauzon or Myles Jury? Or should he go toe-to-toe with Khabib Nurmagomedov or Rafael dos Anjos?
Let's take a look at five options for Henderson’s next opponent.