UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has picked up a major sponsor, and a cool new ride. The Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, is backing the champ for his upcoming title defense later this month.
Additionally, Henderson will take a lap in the pace car before the November 10 race, which will air on ESPN.
“We are truly delighted to be supporting Benson Henderson in his upcoming title fight,” said Phoenix International Raceway president Bryan R. Sperber in a statement. “Having a local champion represented PIR in this important bout will be an exciting moment for all our NASCAR fans across the valley and around the state.”
Henderson will sport a Phoenix International Raceway logo on his walkout t-shirt and fight banner.
“I am so happy and honored to be part of the PIR family,” Henderson added. “Phoenix has become home for me, and I am so excited to be part of such a great event in my adopted hometown.”
In the past, Sperber and the Phoenix International Raceway have also sponsored Anderson Silva and Dominick Cruz before their title fights.
Henderson will be defending his lightweight title for the fourth time on August 31 at UFC 164. Henderson currently holds a 19-2 record, and is undefeated in the UFC. He’ll be facing Anthony Pettis, replacing an injured T.J. Grant.
Pettis handed Henderson one of his only two losses via a unanimous decision at WEC 53 in 2010. It is Henderson’s sole defeat in the past six and a half years, and will undoubtedly be looking for vengeance.
UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis will take place on August 31 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Here is the full announced card, including the bouts airing on FX and online through Facebook.
Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis
Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir
Clay Guida vs. Chad Mendes
Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera
Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
Gleison Tibau vs. Jamie Varner
Tim Elliott vs. Louis Gaudinot
Pascal Krauss vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Chico Camus vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Brian Houston vs. Yoel Romero
Nikita Krylov vs. Soa Palelei
Ryan Couture vs. Al Iaquinta
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Jared Hamman