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Belfort vs. Henderson rematch booked
In 2006, back when the once-great PRIDE promotion was making its last gasp, it tried to inject some new life into the organization by invading the U.S. market. Its first of only two shows in the states, PRIDE 32, was brazenly scheduled in the UFC's home base, Las Vegas. The event drew nearly 12,000 fans to the Thomas & Mack Center, but despite a star-studded card, failed to ignite any revival.
Included in the evening was a bout between Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort, two of the all-time great one-shot knockout artists, but true to PRIDE's rough luck that night, the duo went to a decision, with Henderson being awarded the unanimous victory.
On Nov. 9 in Goiânia, Brazil, the two will rematch. UFC president Dana White officially announced the sequel after Wednesday's UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann II event. The match will be contested at light-heavyweight.
The two will enter the bout on markedly different momentum.
Belfort (23-10) has been on a tear of late, earning back-to-back knockouts of Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold. Prior to pairing him with Belfort, UFC matchmakers had entertained thoughts of matching him with Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida or Rashad Evans, but Belfort resisted the matchups, saying he would not fight at middleweight again unless it was for the championship.
Instead, he gets Henderson (29-10), who last year was on the verge of fighting for the light-heavyweight title against champion Jon Jones when he injured his knee and was forced to withdraw. Instead, he puts his top contender spot on the line against Lyoto Machida and fell via split-decision. Four months later, he lost again in another split-decision, this time to Rashad Evans.
The matchup will mark the third straight for Belfort on Brazilian soil, a fact that has drawn some criticism from observers who claim it is due to reduced oversight, offering Belfort less stringent regulations for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), but the event, as each of the last two Belfort competed in, will be regulated by Comissao Atletica Brasieira de MMA (CABMMA). Henderson has also received exemptions for TRT in the past.
At 43 years old, Henderson is attempting to earn his way back into a title match, which would make him the oldest UFC fighter to compete for a belt since Randy Couture fought Brock Lesnar at age 45.
UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson will emanate from the Goiânia Arena and air on FOX Sports 1.