It appears the mystery over who Vitor Belfort’s next opponent will be is finally over as he’s now verbally agreed to a rematch with Dan Henderson at an event believed to be UFC Fight Night 31 in Brazil on November 9th.
Dana White, who’d unsuccessfully tried to arrange fights with Lyoto Machida and Nick Diaz for ‘The Phenom’, confirmed the match-up on last night’s ‘UFC Tonight’ show on FOX Sports 1.
A weight class has yet to be established for the bout at this stage, but with Henderson having previously been reluctant to drop back down to 185lbs, and Belfort being adamant he’d only compete at middleweight for the title, either a 195lb catchweight or 205lb fight seems more likely.
Belfort and Henderson originally fought at PRIDE 32 in 2006 with ‘Hendo’ emerging the victor on that occasion by unanimous decision.
The fight was a controversial one because Belfort was found to have elevated levels of testosterone following the bout in Las Vegas which resulted in a 9 month ban.
In the years since their first encounter both men have continued to do big things in the sport. Belfort has gone 9-2, making his was back to the UFC after stints in the Cage Rage and Affliction organizations, with his two losses coming in title defeats to two of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.
Henderson has gone 8-5 since 2006, including two stints in the UFC in which he too had unsucessful title shots at both 185 and 205lbs. In-between that he did get his hands on the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title however and claimed a major victory over Fedor Emelianenko at heavyweight too.
Form wise Belfort is currently on a better run in the present day, notching up impressive knockout victories over Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold in his past two Octagon outings at middleweight, while Henderson’s been edged out by split decision to both Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.
Overall this looks like an interesting match-up and a fairly high profile one to be featuring on a ‘Fight Night’ card given that it could easily have served as at least a strong co-main event on a pay-per-view show.