Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva is making his return to the United States at Pride 33 in Las Vegas. On February 24th, Silva will defend his 205-pound, middleweight title against Pride welterweight (183-pound) champion Dan Henderson.
With the fight being for Silva’s title, the weight limit will be set at 205-pounds. If Henderson were to win, he would be the first mixed martial artist to hold two title belts in two separate weight classes in a major MMA organization.
The fight will be Silva’s first since a non-title bout loss to Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in Pride’s 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix. Filipovic went on to win the Grand Prix title, but has since left Pride for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Henderson’s last bout was on Pride’s American debut “The Real Deal” in October of 2006 where he dominated Vitor Belfort en route to a unanimous decision.
It has been public knowledge for some time that Pride’s return to America would feature a title defense by Silva. It was Loretta Hunt reporting for The Fight Network, who first reported Henderson as his opponent. MMAWeekly has independently confirmed with Pride officials that Henderson is indeed Silva’s opponent and that the fight should be officially announced at a press conference on Thursday.