by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
After the Ultimate Fighting Championship finished with its return show to New Jersey, UFC president Dana White announced a middleweight title match-up between champion Anderson Silva and the only Pride champion in that weight class, Dan Henderson. They will meet on March 1 in Columbus, Ohio.
Henderson won the first ever 183-pound division title in Pride by winning a Grand Prix tournament, but this will be the first test for him at this weight since returning to the Octagon.
“I’m right in between the two weight classes,” he said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com about his drop to the middleweight division. “It’s pretty easy to cut the weight.”
Since his debut in the UFC, Anderson Silva has run roughshod over the middleweight division, but the Team Quest fighter will likely present the toughest test for the champion to date.
“He’s tough,” Henderson said about Silva. “He’s definitely proven that he’s a force to be reckoned with.”
The announcement of the title fight also answers questions about his long-term plans with the UFC.
“I’m kind of in the twilight of my career, don’t have that many years left of fighting,” he stated. “I don’t want to jump around at all. I was in Pride for seven years, so I kind of like to stay where I’m at and build relationships that way.”
While the Pride champion stated he was hoping for a fight in December, waiting until March gives him the chance to try and add another title to his resume. But Henderson hasn’t given up on another shot at the light heavyweight belt as well.
“I would definitely want to fight for that title again,” said Henderson about the 205-pound division championship. “(I’ll) see what I’ve got to do to get back there.”
First things first, Henderson will have to get past Silva on March 1.