It wasn’t long ago that it appeared as if UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was maybe one fight away from clearing out the division.
Now as Jones awaits his April showdown with fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Chael Sonnen, the list of contenders lining up to face him gets longer by the day.
Former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier has made no bones about dropping down to 205 pounds and challenging Jones, while the UFC has also now booked an interesting fight in April between top rated challenger Alexander Gustafsson and former Strikeforce and DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi.
Right now, however, the list will start and stop with the man who was originally supposed to challenge Jones at UFC 151 in 2012.
UFC president Dana White confirmed on Thursday that if Dan Henderson can get past Lyoto Machida at UFC 157 in February, he will indeed get the next shot at Jon Jones later this year.
“If Henderson beats Machida, Henderson will get the next shot,” White said when speaking to media after the UFC on Fox 6 press conference ended.
Henderson has been waiting a long time to get a shot at Jones after returning to the UFC in 2011 and defeating former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in one of the best fights of the year. Henderson then sat out until the following year to get a crack at Jones, but just days before he was scheduled to meet him at UFC 151, he suffered a major knee injury that put him on the sidelines and out of the fight.
Now Henderson has the chance to get back to the same spot he was almost six months ago if he can defeat Lyoto Machida at UFC 157.