by Ken Pishna (Reporting by Al Yu) – MMAWeekly.com
It appears that Dan Henderson’s return to the middleweight division wasn’t a one-time deal to challenge UFC champion Anderson Silva. MMAWeekly.com has confirmed with sources close to the camp of Brazilian Top Team fighter Rousimar Palhares that he has signed to fight Henderson in a 185-pound divisional bout at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 in Atlanta.
Henderson has stated several times in the past that he prefers to fight at light heavyweight, but the bout with Palhares will keep him in the middleweight division, at least for the time being.
Henderson lost his last two bouts, both being title fights. He was defeated by Silva at UFC 82 in Columbus earlier this year and lost in a light heavyweight title bout to Quinton Jackson in September of last year. Prior to those two defeats, Henderson had won two in a row – over Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort – and held both the middleweight and light heavyweight Pride championship belts simultaneously.
One of the fastest rising talents of the Brazilian Top Team, Rousimar Palhares made his Octagon debut last month against Ivan Salaverry at UFC 84. Improving his record to 8-1 as a professional, Palhares also earned Submission of the Night honors and a $75,000 bonus check for his slick submission of Salaverry via armbar.
Palhares has finished six of his eight victories by submission, including both Daniel Acacio and Fabio Negao in one night to win the Fury FC middleweight title. He is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic submission specialists to recently emerge from Brazil.
UFC 88 will take place on Sept. 6 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. The main event features former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in a battle with undefeated Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner Rashad Evans.
UFC 88 Bouts (officially announced):
-Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans
UFC 88 Bouts (unannounced):
-Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Palhares
-James Lee vs. Tim Boetsch