Dana White: Machida vs. Henderson on Deck
STUDIO MMA, VENICE, CA — In an interview with MMAFighting.com, UFC President Dana White has revealed that as a consequence of the circumstances surrounding the UFC 151 cancellation, neither Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida nor Dan “Hendo” Henderson are guaranteed to face light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones any time soon. Rather, they’ll be facing each other.
White explained to MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer:
“[Machida] should have taken the fight. We’ve seen it, history always repeats itself. Look how long it took Rashad to fight for the title again. So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don’t take it. Now you’re fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson. Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again. You lose to Dan Henderson you’re not anywhere near Jon Jones.”
Henderson was scheduled to challenge Jones for the belt at UFC 151. However, three weeks prior to the event he incurred a knee injury during sparring. Henderson waited until eight days prior to the event to notify the UFC, which started a frenzy of match-making that included title shot offers for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who also turned it down, Machida, and Chael Sonnen. White explains that both he and Machida’s manager Ed Soares expected Lyoto to take the fight, which is why White announced it at a press conference. But, hours later, Machida turned down the fight, Jones refused to fight Sonnen, and UFC 151 was scrapped. Now Jones faces perennial challenger Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort at UFC 152.
No date has been set for the Machida-Henderson fight. It appears to still be in the concept phase, according to Meltzer.