Earlier this week it was reported that light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier would face Dan Henderson on the July 5th UFC 175 PPV in Las Vegas. Dana White said the fight hadn't been finalized, but UFC Tonight confirmed that both men have verbally agreed to the bout. On the line for both men is a title shot ... but not before Alexander Gustafsson gets his first:
Cormier vs. Henderson have both verbally agreed to fight...and here's the kicker. Winner gets a title shot after Gustafsson.— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) April 2, 2014
Cormier (14-0) successfully made his LHW debut in February, defeating late replacement Patrick Cummins in about 80 seconds at UFC 170. The Strikeforce HW Grand Prix champion already established himself as one of the best heavyweights in the world, and he is looking to do the same at 205 lbs.
Henderson (30-11) ended a 3 fight losing streak with a come-from-behind knockout win of Mauricio Rua in front of a shocked Brazilian crowd in Natal last week. If you recall, Henderson's last win over Shogun in 2011 netted him a title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 151, but he injured his knee and the card was canceled.
I do stress again that the UFC said that Gustafsson is next in line for the Jones/Teixeira winner, meaning that the Cormier/Henderson winner faces the Gustafsson vs. Jones/Teixeira victor. The UFC's "promised title shot" has been a bit of a joke in recent years, but this scenario is a lot more believable if Jones/Glover (April 26th) vs. Gustafsson is made official before UFC 175. It would be a seamless transition with a backup plan in case Gustafsson is unable to compete.
UFC 175 is headlined by Chris Weidman's 2nd middleweight title defense, as he fights former 205 lbs champion Lyoto Machida.