Former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champ Benson Henderson earned his second straight victory since losing the belt with a fourth-round submission over Rustam Khabilov in the main event of a card in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday night.
Henderson dropped Khabilov with a right hand, followed by a left and immediately locked in a rear naked choke.
After losing the belt to Anthony Pettis in August, Henderson won a split decision over Josh Thomson in January. He improved to 8-1 in the UFC, but all seven previous victories had gone to the scorecards.
Diego Sanchez might have received some home cooking from the judges in the UFC’s first visit to his native town.
Sanchez lost all three rounds to lightweight Ross Pearson on one card but won all three on another card and two out of three on the third to get the split decision.
Pearson dropped Sanchez and appeared to get the better of most exchanges. He also scored the only takedown of the fight.
Another Albuquerque native, John Dodson, likely solidified his spot as the top contender in the flyweight division with a knockout of John Moraga. Dodson landed a crushing knee that broke Moraga’s nose in the closing seconds of the second round. The ringside doctor advised the referee to stop the fight between rounds.
Dodson lost a close decision to champion Demetrious Johnson in a title fight in 2013.
Lightweight Bryan Caraway got his second straight submission victory, and fifth in his last six fights, with a second-round rear naked choke finish of Erik Perez.
Rafael dos Anjos spoiled Jason High’s lightweight debut, knocking him out with a series of hammer fists in the second round.
Also, Piotr Hallman submitted Yves Edwards in the third round of a lightweight bout. Sergio Pettis, the star attraction of the undercard, picked up a unanimous decision victory over Yaotzin Meza.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.