A few days after UFC President Dana White suggested Alexander Gustafsson might replace Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) because of a lingering knee injury, the organization today announced “Hendo” will fight fellow contender Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) as planned in UFC 157′s co-headliner.
The long-rumored bout is is being billed as a “likely” title eliminator, according to today’s release.
UFC 157 takes place Feb. 23 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card, including UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Henderson fights for the first time in 15 months. He was scheduled to face light-heavyweight Jon Jones at UFC 151, but a knee injury forced him off the card, and the event ultimately was canceled. Before the injury, Henderson had won four consecutive bouts, which included winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title and defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a 2011 “Fight of the Year” candidate at UFC 139.
Machida, meanwhile, hopes to earn another shot at the title he held from 2009-2010. After a 1-3 stretch that included a title loss to Rua, a split-decision setback to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and a title loss to Jones, Machida recently picked up a second-round knockout of Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 in August to get back in the win column.
The latest UFC 157 card includes:
- Champ Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche – for women’s bantamweight title
- Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
- Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
- Lavar Johnson vs. Brendan Schaub*
- Neil Magny vs. Jon Manley*
- Court McGee vs. Josh Neer*
* – Not officially announced