They represent the old guard in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and they are quite familiar with one another.
Vitor Belfort tipped the scales at 204 pounds for his rematch with former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Dan Henderson (204) in the UFC Fight Night 32 main event on Saturday at the Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil. Middleweight co-headliners Cezar Ferreira (185) and Daniel Sarafian (186) also met their contracted weight requirements at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Henderson, who defeated Belfort by unanimous decision at Pride 32 in October 2006, finds himself in dire need of a victory after consecutive split decision losses to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans. The 43-year-old Downey, Calif., native owns one of MMA’s most enduring resumes and remains the only fighter to ever hold major championships in two weight classes simultaneously. However, Henderson has not tasted victory since he outpointed former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua in an epic five-round battle at UFC 139 in November 2011. He has compiled a 6-4 record inside the Octagon.
Belfort will enter the cage on a modest two-fight winning streak. The 36-year-old Blackzilians representative last fought at UFC on FX 8 in May, when he wiped out American Kickboxing Academy standout Luke Rockhold with a ridiculous spinning heel kick and follow-up punches at the Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil. Wins over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Michael Bisping, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland, onetime UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and former Pride 205-pound titleholder Wanderlei Silva anchor the Belfort resume. He owns a 12-6 mark in the UFC.
UFC Fight Night 32 “Belfort vs. Henderson” -- which airs at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 1 -- will also feature a light heavyweight clash pitting former Strikeforce champion Rafael Cavalcante (205) against Igor Pokrajac (204), a featherweight tilt matching “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 winner Rony Mariano Bezerra (146) with Jeremy Stephens (146) and a pair of welterweight scraps, as the once-beaten Santiago Ponzinibbio (171) meets onetime Ring of Combat titleholder Ryan LaFlare (170) and X-Gym’s Paulo Thiago (170) locks horns with highly touted prospect Brandon Thatch (170).
Two hours prior, the remaining five undercard bouts will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page: Godofredo Castro (146) vs. Sam Sicilia (146), Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (185) vs. Omari Akhmedov (182), Thiago Tavares (156) vs. Justin Salas (155), Daron Cruickshank (155) vs. Adriano Martins (155) and Dustin Ortiz (125) vs. Jose Maria Tome (126).
UFC Fight Night 32 ‘Belfort vs. Henderson’ Weigh-In Results:
Vitor Belfort (204) vs. Dan Henderson (204)
Cezar Ferreira (185) vs. Daniel Sarafian (186)
Rafael Cavalcante (205) vs. Igor Pokrajac (204)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (146) vs. Jeremy Stephens (146)
Santiago Ponzinibbio (171) vs. Ryan LaFlare (170)
Paulo Thiago (170) vs. Brandon Thatch (170)
Godofredo Castro (146) vs. Sam Sicilia (146)
Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (185) vs. Omari Akhmedov (182)
Thiago Tavares (156) vs. Justin Salas (155)
Daron Cruickshank (155) vs. Adriano Martins (155)
Dustin Ortiz (125) vs. Jose Maria Tome (126)