A pivotal light heavyweight collision between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida is now reportedly slated for UFC 157.
The pairing was initially thought to be scheduled for UFC 156 on Feb. 2, but it now appears that Henderson will tangle with Machida at the Feb. 23 event, which takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The booking was first reported by Brazilian outlet Tatame, though promotion officials have yet to announce the matchup.
Henderson, 42, was set to challenge Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight crown this past September but was forced to withdraw from that bout on short notice due to a knee injury. A former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titlist as well as a Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, Henderson is widely regarded as one of the sport’s most accomplished competitors. He returned to the UFC just over one year ago, taking a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over onetime Pride 205-pound king Mauricio Rua in a “Fight of the Year” nominee at UFC 139.
Machida, meanwhile, last competed on Aug. 4, when he buried Ryan Bader with a sharp counter right hand at UFC on Fox 4. After going 16-0 to begin his career, “The Dragon” has lost three of his last five fights, though his setbacks have come against the cream of the crop. The Brazilian karateka initially won the UFC light heavyweight crown by knocking out Rashad Evans in 2009, but he relinquished his throne to Rua the following year after edging “Shogun” in a controversial unanimous decision to retain his belt at UFC 104. Prior to his knockout of Bader, Machida tried to recapture his title from Jones this past December, but he was choked unconscious with a second-round guillotine at UFC 140.