Newly-minted UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will make his first title defense against PRIDE FC Welterweight and Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson later this year.
The announcement was made last night at UFC 71: "Liddell vs. Jackson," pitting the champions from the two major mixed martial arts promotions for the first time ever.
Jackson earned the privelege with a first-round stoppage of 205-pound stallwart Chuck Liddell in the main event. It was his second win over the Iceman in three years.
Henderson, on the other hand, upset Wanderlei Silva earlier this year at PRIDE 33: "Final Conflict" to capture the belt and become the first fighter in either promotion to hold two different belts at the same time.
While no date has been set for the cross-promotion showdown, MMAWeekly.com is reporting that it will go down sometime in the fall.
Here's what Rampage had to say about the match up:
"Dan Henderson is a tough little ugly son of a gun. So you know I got a lot to watch out for. He's a great wrestler; he got a strong right and himself. I used to spar with Dan Henderson. I used to go help him out to train. But, he never returned the favor, so I guess, I gotta pay him back for all that."
This will be the first trip back to the Octagon for "Hollywood" Henderson in nearly a decade. He topped Allen Goes and Carlos Newton on the same night at UFC 17 in 1998.
In mixed martial arts circles, Henderson is well-known and widely regarded as an extremely talented fighter. However, it's unclear at this time if the majority of fans here in the states have even heard of him.
That makes a fight between Jackson and Henderson a little bit more of a tougher sell than say Liddell vs. Henderson.
Especially because many feel that Hendo is a bit overmatched at 205 pounds -- he came up from welterweight (the PRIDE FC equivalent of middleweight in the UFC) to challenge Silva.
Regardless, it should be a great fight. And one that will probably last longer than two minutes.