Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida will fight in the co-main event of UFC 157, promotion officials recently announced.
The booking was previously reported last month, but the fight only became official on Thursday. UFC 157 takes place Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and is headlined by Ronda Rousey’s first defense of her new UFC women’s bantamweight championship against former Strikeforce title contender Liz Carmouche. The event will also showcase a 135-pound rematch pitting former WEC featherweight king Urijah Faber against 10-year veteran Ivan Menjivar.
At 42, Henderson has done just about everything in the sport of mixed martial arts, save for winning a UFC world title. The former two-division Pride Fighting Championships belt holder rejoined the UFC last year after fighting four times under the Strikeforce banner, winning that promotion’s light heavyweight strap in March 2011.
Henderson’s Octagon return was a successful one, as “Hendo” took a unanimous decision from former champion Mauricio Rua at UFC 139. The veteran was then supposed to challenge reigning champ Jon Jones at UFC 151, but a knee injury ultimately derailed that plan.
Eight years younger than his foe, Machida enters the cage coming off a gorgeous knockout of Ryan Bader this past August at UFC on Fox 4. The victory followed a second-round submission defeat to Jones one year ago at UFC 140, as “The Dragon” was choked unconscious with a standing guillotine choke. Following Henderson’s withdrawal and the subsequent cancellation of UFC 151, Machida was then offered a short-notice rematch with “Bones” at UFC 152, which the Brazilian declined on the grounds that he needed a full training camp to prepare for his next meeting with the champion.