UFC light heavyweights Dan Henderson (29-8) and Lyoto Machida (18-3) were both guaranteed title-shots in 2012 before seeing the opportunities disappear without defeat ever coming into play. In Henderson’s case, a health-related matter cost him a crack at champion Jon Jones in the final month before their match-up, while Machida’s circumstances changed after requesting a full camp to prepare for the challenge of beating “Bones”.
For one man, this weekend will mark the return of status as the division’s top threat to the belt while the other will exit their co-headlining clash at UFC 157 empty-handed, as UFC President Dana White confirmed contendership is on the line during a pre-event press conference on Thursday. White also explained that if the victor ends up injured or falls at some point while training for the eventual title-tilt the winner of April’s effort between Alexander Gustafsson/Gegard Mousasi would serve as a suitable back-up.
Henderson is on a four-fight run with three knockouts in the span and wins over Fedor Emelianenko/Mauricio Rua. Meanwhile, Machida was last seen stopping Ryan Bader with strikes in an August outing to score the ninth finish of his career.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC