The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday officially announced its March 1 event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Entitled “Pride of a Champion,” the main event is slated to feature a title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Pride titleholder Dan Henderson.
“Anderson Silva has been so dominant as UFC Middleweight Champion that people are starting to wonder if there is anyone out there who can dethrone him,” said UFC president Dana White. “Now Pride champion Dan Henderson has stepped up to the challenge. Anderson Silva may be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and Dan Henderson may be the strongest, toughest guy in the middleweight division so there is no doubt in my mind that this will be a battle that goes down in the history books.”
Silva has been a wrecking machine since entering the UFC in June of 2006. He has won all five of his fights in the Octagon and finished each opponent. He captured the title from former champion Rich Franklin at UFC 64 and has defended it three times.
“I’m really motivated and I’m looking forward to this fight because it’s going to be the two best middleweights in the world putting their belt on the line – winner takes all,” said Silva.
Henderson was the only man to hold both the middleweight and light heavyweight belts for the Pride Fighting Championships, although he has since lost the light heavyweight strap to Quinton Jackson in a unification bout in September. The fight with Silva will be his first at middleweight in well over a year and his first since returning to the UFC.
“I know that I can beat everyone at 185 pounds, and that’s what I’m gonna do on March 1st,” said Henderson. “I think style-wise, I’m a bad matchup for Anderson Silva, whereas his previous opponents have been good match-ups. So I don’t think it will be a problem to beat him. I’ll take a knockout or a submission…”