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HomeSportsDan Henderson Vs. Lyoto Machida Set For UFC 157

Dan Henderson Vs. Lyoto Machida Set For UFC 157

The UFC light heavyweight champion will get closer to a clear cut top contender on February 23, 2013. Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida will meet at UFC 157 in a battle of former Strikeforce and UFC champions in hopes of providing the UFC with an undisputed number one contender.

[adinserter block=”1″]The announcement is now official and the fight will likely headline or semi-main event the UFC 157 event in Anaheim, California in 2013. Henderson will be coming off an arguable fight of the year for 2011 victory over former champion Shogun Rua while Lyoto Machida comes off of a one-sided dominant win over Ryan Bader.

This fight had been rumored for awhile yet the UFC appeared hesitant to pull the trigger. Henderson’s time table for returning has always been an issue as multiple reports indicated various dates in which he could return. Machida has been idle since the Bader win and with champion Jon Jones already booked for April the UFC opted to move forward with its two top contenders.

Where this gets real muddy is that Shogun Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson will take place shortly on the next UFC on FOX special. UFC president Dana White has indicated that the winner of that fight would be first in line for a UFC light heavyweight title fight. I would have to imagine that the winner of Henderson vs. Machida would get priority with the winner of Rua vs. Gustafsson being the backup should the new contender face a long layoff due to injury.

To make matters even more complex there is the Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva fight hanging over the division. The UFC is obsessed with making this fight in 2013. If Jones defeats Sonnen he won’t be able to take another title fight and the Silva fight before the end of the year. If Silva vs. GSP doesn’t happen, I could see the UFC holding Silva out until after Jones vs. Sonnen and doing whatever they can to make that fight happen. If that is the case you could be looking at a scenario where nobody is challenging for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2013 other than Chael Sonnen.

This is a really complicated fight. I have a hard time with Henderson having to take another fight after earning a title shot when you are now looking at two challengers in a row who were handed shots without merit. I put the whole UFC 151 blame on Henderson for failing to tell the UFC about his injury and I think this is a backhanded punishment from the company.

As for Machida that is another tough one. I never felt that he earned the title shot in the first place. A win over Ryan Bader gets you a title shot? Yet for whatever reason a giddy Dana White proclaimed Machida the new top contender to the world on FOX. Machida declining short notice fights with Jones put him in this position. I don’t blame Machida for turning down arguably the last title shot he’ll receive in a long time due to short notice. Putting Machida back in a fight almost makes White look foolish after calling the guy the top dog in the division in front of a national television audience.

[adinserter block=”2″]Machida has opened on one sports book as a -240 favorite to Henderson as a +180 underdog. This now makes Henderson’s third fight in a row in which he will enter as an underdog. I love Henderson in this fight. Machida hasn’t decisively beaten an elite fighter in over three years ( I’m not counting an aged Randy Couture fighting his last fight as an elite win). I’ll take the guy coming off of wins over Rua, Fedor Emelianenko, Rafael Cavalcante riding a four-fight winning streak any day. Quite frankly I expect a bit of a boring fight here with Machida running and Henderson chasing for 3-5 rounds. Yet in the end I expect Hendo to take the win.

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  1. Machidas footwork & control of distance will confuse the 1-dimensional Hendo…whose only chance is landing a Shogun-type punch. But remember that Lyoto also has KO power & is an expert counter-striker. Lyoto is also hard to take down. Hendos Title chances end here….you can bank on it…

  2. Machida all the way in this fight.
    He lost a spit decision against Rampage and to be honest Machida was fighting a cautious careful fight after his first ever loss his previous fight.
    Machida was beating Jones till the cut above his eye.
    Jones doesn’t want to fight Machida for the very reason that he knows out of everyone LHW. Machida can and likely would beat him!

  3. I'm pretty sure this "writer" hasn't a clue about MMA. Machida will stop Hendo in spectacular fashion and is the 1st fighter to even win a rd v Jones. You good sir should find a new sport to cover.

    • The same spectacular way he stopped Rampage? I dont know MMA yet youre picking a fighter who couldnt stop Rampage Jackson over the fighter who KO\’d Fedor and hasnt lost a light heavyweight fight in years and I dont know MMA.

      • Like you said, you don't know MMA. He KO'd Fedor at the end of his career, and in my opinion he got lucky against Rua, (I don't think Rua was the same after that opening flurry, and also by the way, Rua still shouldve gotten that decision). Henderson hasn't lost a light heavyweight fight in years because he hasn't fought an elite Lightheavyweight in years (I believe the last one he fought was Rampage, and he lost) Machida is tailor made to make Dan Henderson, the most overrated fighter in MMA, look silly.

        • I am basing my opinion off of facts. Fact, he has a better record. Fact, he has beaten more elite fighters lately. You are sitting here making excuses (Rua should have gotten the decision, Fedor was past his prime). Wins are wins and Henderson has more. Who has Machida destroyed lately? An overrated TUF fighter and a retiring Randy Couture? Not impressed

          • Machida's recent wins may not be impressive fighter-wise, but the way in which he won was far more impressive than Henderson's victories. Fact, the only fights Machida has lost were against the current and former LHW champions. While I love Henderson, he fought a Shogun who is truly becoming more of a Shobum… and I see Machida finally beating Shogun convincingly in a third bout. Honestly, Shogun's last fight against Vera was pathetic. He has not improved while Machida has shown that he has. As for Fedor, I'm a huge fan but he did not and does not have what it takes to compete with fighters that have evolved. Henderson's wins against these two were not really as impressive as you may think.

      • Last I checked Henderson lost to Rampage as well. Also, Machida clearly played that fight safe due to his first knockout loss against Shogun. Machida was aware that Rampage had the same knockout power as Shogun. However, Machida also clearly showed that he could have probably put Rampage away had he had the confidence displayed in the 3rd round when he was wrecking Rampage.

  4. Your crazy! Hendo will gas in Rd2 or 3 so I can't see him winning this fight at all. Machida is faster, better striking and way better cardio. Machida wins this fight for sure.

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