Two days after Dana White claimed a rumored fight between Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier was “not event close” to being signed, the light-heavyweight encounter has been made official for UFC 175 in July.
It’s a fight that makes a lot more sense than the original Cormier Vs Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante bout that the UFC were planning as it pits the current No.5 ranked light-heavyweight (Cormier) against the current No.6 contender (Henderson).
And to raise the stakes further, the ‘UFC Tonight’ show also revealed that the winner of the fight would get the next shot at the light-heavyweight title after current No.1 contender Alexander Gustafsson.
Of course, current 205lb champion Jon Jones still has to fight Glover Teixeira first at UFC 172 later this month before either of these other planned title fights can take place.
It’s unusual for the UFC to map out three potential title encounters in the one division like this and it leaves the door open for their best laid plans to go astray if one or more of the fighters gets injured.
Meanwhile, the news is unlikely to be well received by other contenders in the division like Rashad Evans (No.3) and Phil Davis (No.4) who now know that regardless of how they perform in their upcoming fights, there’s no chance of them fighting for the title (barring an injury call-up) until sometime next year at the earliest.
With Henderson Vs Cormier installed as UFC 175’s co-main event it’s shaping up to be a great card with a middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida installed as the main event.
The only other fight so far announced for the Las Vegas show sees TUF star taking on Thiago Santos.