Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission specialist Rousimar Palhares (8-1) has signed a contract to take on Dan Henderson (22-7) in a middleweight bout at UFC 88: "Breakthrough" at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on September 6, according to MMAWeekly.com.
"Dangerous Dan" –- with his proven chin and prestigious Greco Roman wrestling pedigree –- was supposed to be the man to derail the seemingly invincible champion, Anderson Silva. And in the first round of their fight at UFC 82: "Pride of a Champion," Henderson appeared to be well on his way.
However, Silva came out in the second frame and finished Henderson with a submission (rear naked choke) -– the first time that the former Pride FC dual champion had been stopped early since 2005.
With two straight losses since his return to the Octagon it's safe to say that this is a must win for Henderson.
Palhares was impressive in his Octagon debut, submitting mixed martial arts veteran Ivan Salaverry via super slick armbar at UFC 84: "Ill Will" back in May. It was so slick, in fact, it earned him a $70,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus.
Henderson is no doubt the biggest test to date for the young Brazilian Top Team-trained fighter and it would brand him an instant force in the 185-pound division. And if there is one weakness in Henderson's tight game it's his submission defense -- three of his seven career losses have come via submission (the other four are decisions).
Put simply, it's a big fight for both fighters for different reasons.
UFC 88 will showcase a main event between former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 heavyweight winner Rashad Evans.
Stay tuned for more UFC 88 fight card updates.