Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
UFC President Dana White today confirmed the winner of the UFC 157 light heavyweight showdown between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida will get the next 205-pound championship opportunity.
The Light Heavyweight showdown between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, which will serve as the UFC 157 co-main event from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., this Saturday night (Feb. 23, 2013) just got a bit more interesting with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White confirming that winner will, in fact, receive the next division title shot.
While White previously stated Alexander Gustafsson would be "in line" for the next crack at the title should he prove victorious against Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fuel TV 9 -- and he still technically is if he takes care of business on April 6, 2013 -- that didn't stop him from raising the stakes for this weekend's 205-pound showdown between "The Dragon" and "Hendo."
The Las Vegas fight boss dropped the news at today's (Feb. 21, 2013) UFC 157 press conference:
"Obviously a win is a big deal. I love this fight. Stylistically it's a great fight. You know Machida has this style where he lays back and counter punches and Henderson moves forward, he's aggressive and in your face the entire time. I think the fight is going to be a great fight. This fight is all about the winner. The winner gets a shot at Jon Jones."
Short, sweet and to the point.
Before Jones gets a chance to defend his title against this weekend's winner, he has to first get past Chael Sonnen, who he will meet at UFC 159 on April 27, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey (White later clarified that he wasn't subconsciously predicting a "Bones" win in the "Garden State").
Henderson lost out on his 205-pound title shot against Jones, which was set to go down at UFC 151, after coming down with a last-minute injury. Machida, meanwhile, turned down a title fight and rematch against Jones that was set to go down at UFC 152, citing timing issues (he was on vacation).
It appears that the winner will have another bite at the championship apple later this year ... for now.