Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson are penciled in to lock horns at UFC 157 on Feb. 23, 2012 in Anaheim, California. The bout, which could have major implications in the 205-pound division, is not expected to headline the event.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight showdown between Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson is headed to Anaheim, California as the two have verbally agreed to swing leather on Feb. 23, 2012 at UFC 157, though no contracts have been signed at the moment
The bout, which was originally rumored to take place over Super Bowl Weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada at UFC 156, will not headline the event according to MMAFighting.com, which spoke with UFC president Dana White about the pending matchup.
Both "The Dragon" and "Hendo" were the leading contenders to face off against current division champion Jon Jones, but the opportunities were missed. After Henderson suffered an injury, which forced him off his title fight against "Bones" at UFC 151, Machida was first option to replace him one month later at UFC 152. Lyoto, however, passed on the shot-notice rematch against Jones, stating he needed more time to prepare.
Now, with both looking to reclaim their title shot at the 205-pound strap, the two veterans will hope to solidify their status as the number one contender in sunny California. It is unclear at the moment whether or not the victor will indeed get the next shot at either Jones or Chael Sonnen, who are scheduled to face off on April 27, 2013.
Who's your early pick in this pivotal 205-pound matchup? Are you surprised the bout didn't receive top billing for the pay-per-view (PPV) event? What match-up do you think the UFC has in store that is bigger than this one?