Is the UFC thinking about putting on a middleweight championship rematch between Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson on the first UFC on FOX card? Well, according to a report on Tatame, they are.
Anderson Silva will put his belt on the line this Saturday, but the organization is already thinking on his next title defense. According to sources close to the situation, the middleweight champion is in talks with the UFC to fight Dan Henderson at UFC’s first show on FOX, scheduled to November 12, in California.
Sources also indicated that if Henderson didn’t agree to move down to middleweight months after a heavyweight showdown against Fedor Emelianenko, Chael Sonnen is the option to replace him against Silva.
Sonnen is set to fight Brian Stann at UFC 136, and if Henderson doesn’t take this fight, he’d be taken out to fight Anderson. Stann, on the other hand, would potentially fight Vitor Belfort.
I would probably be pretty skeptical about this considering Anderson Silva hasn’t even beat Yushin Okami yet, however Dana White sorta hinted that they really are thinking about headlining UFC on FOX 1 with Anderson Silva in an interview with The LA Times.
White said before he sets the main event for Nov. 12 he needs to watch what transpires Saturday when his long-reigning middleweight champion Anderson Silva defends his belt against Yushin Okami and former light-heavyweight champion Griffin has a rematch with another former champion in the division, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, whom Griffin defeated at Honda Center.
Does that mean Silva could fight in Anaheim?
“I’m not saying that,” White said. “Let me get through these fights.”
Against Dan Henderson though? Really? I mean I’m as high on Hendo as anybody else right now, but I really want to see what he can do in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, not move back down to middleweight to rematch Anderson Silva who choked him out in the second round in their first meeting. That fight’s either going to end up like the first one or with Hendo blanketing him for five rounds. I just don’t care to see it again.
On the other hand, I’d definitely be down to see Silva-Sonnen 2,
but Sonnen would only have a month to recover from the Stann fight and get ready for Silva if he even beats Stann. Moreover, if this fight goes down in Anaheim as expected, Sonnen is going to have to get licensed by the CSAC and that’s nowhere near a guarantee considering how it was left.
In short, Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson or Chael Sonnen may be an idea for the UFC’s big FOX debut, but there’s far too many variables to consider it anything more than possible at this point.
On a side note, Clay Guida and Ben Henderson have been lobbying to fight each other on the FOX card over at MMA Junkie. That match-up definitely has the potential to produce the kind of action the UFC and FOX are looking for, but I’m not sure they have the kind of name value the UFC needs for a televised card that only has two open slots. If it was a normal five-fight main card, I’d say Guida-Henderson would be a no-brainer, but I’m guessing the UFC and FOX want four names the masses recognize.
Image via Jeff Cain for MMA Weekly
Update: If the news is legit, Chael Sonnen doesn’t know anything about it.
“Wow. I’d be surprised. Tickets went on sale (last week for his UFC 136 fight with Brian Stann). I don’t think they would – I’d be surprised. But, of course, I’d go along with it.”
Update: Lorenzo Fertitta confirming they want to do Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson.
What do you expect from UFC on FOX’s first edition? Do you already have a main event set?
We don’t have a main event set yet, we’ll find out probably after this Saturday, these fights in Rio, then we’ll set a main event. But it’ll be something big. It’ll be a big fight.
We reported this Monday that Anderson Silva could put his middleweight title on the line against Dan Henderson, one he beats Yushin Okami…
I would love to do that. Anderson just needs a win.