UFC Fight Night 49: Benson Henderson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos Headlines Main Card

Kyle Symes@ksymes88Correspondent IIIJune 18, 2014

Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Benson Henderson (red) and Rustam Khabilov (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Henderson won via fourth round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

If all roads to a UFC lightweight title shot go through Benson Henderson, then Rafael dos Anjos is next in line to punch his ticket.

That's according to Tulsa World (subscription required), which reported that the two Top Five lightweights will headline UFC Fight Night 49 Aug. 23 from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Henderson is fresh off a submission win against Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night 42. The win was Henderson's first finish of his UFC career and also marked the seventh straight time that "Smooth" has headlined a UFC card.

Dos Anjos also picked up a win at UFC Fight Night 42, finishing Jason High by TKO in the second round. It was a nice way for the Brazilian to bounce back after seeing his five-fight winning streak snapped by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC on Fox 11.

Henderson will look to secure another title shot as he faces Dos Anjos in what will be Smooth's third fight since dropping the belt to Anthony Pettis at UFC 164. Interestingly enough, Henderson will have competed three times since UFC 164, while Pettis has yet to defend his title.

Dos Anjos has struggled with upper-tier talent but gets another shot at putting himself in the mix for a title shot. The Brazilian sports a well-rounded game that could provide matchup troubles for Henderson on the feet and on the ground.

Fans widely consider Henderson to be the best lightweight outside of Pettis, and Smooth recently issued an open challenge to all potential lightweight title challengers.

If he can win and/or finish Dos Anjos, it will be tough for the UFC to hold him back from another title shot even if Pettis is still champ, despite the fact that Henderson is 0-2 against Pettis. Dos Anjos, meanwhile, can virtually guarantee himself a title shot by defeating the top-ranked Henderson unless Nurmagomedov picks up another high-profile win in the meantime.

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