Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 157 PPV fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche. Here, we look at the co-main event: Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida.
The co main event at UFC 157 sees two top contenders face off as Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA; 10-3 UFC) faces Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA; 6-2 UFC). This Light Heavyweight fight is the fourth of five fights on the UFC 157 PPV. UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche airs live from Anaheim, California this Saturday, February 23. The main card begins on PPV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Machida vs. Henderson is an intriguing stylistic match-up between two of the division's best. Both men have held world titles in this weight class, and both are looking to get a shot at Jon Jones. They've also both been tantalizingly close to that shot in the past year. Now, they find themselves facing off while waiting for Jones to settle his business with surprise #1 contender Chael Sonnen. Winner here could easily be next in line, depending on how his performance goes, while the loser will take a massive step backwards.
How do these two stack up?
Machida: 34 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
Henderson: 42 years old: 5'11" | 71" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Lyoto Machida was, back in 2009, the undefeated UFC Light Heavyweight champion - a fighter who seemed borderline unbeatable. Shogun Rua shattered that perception, and he's struggled to regain his footing since. Lyoto is just 3-3 since winning the belt. He was choked unconscious by Jones in 2011, but has since bounced back with a good win over Bader. That win should have earned him a title shot, but after the UFC 151 fiasco, Dana knocked him out of the title picture, for now. The karate master is in need of a win here, which would give him his first back to back wins since 2009.
Dan Henderson is one of the last of the truly old school fighters still in the UFC. A 16 year pro, Hendo first made his UFC debut at UFC 17, defeating Carlos Newton for a tournament title. He's competed all over the world and excelled everywhere, winning the Light Heavyweight title in both Pride and Strikeforce. He's currently riding a 4 fight win streak, though he has not fought since his 2011 classic war with Shogun. Hendo famously was signed to fight Jones last year, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. At 42, it will be interesting to see how much longer he can keep going.
Why should you care?
This is just an awesome fight. The winner should get a title shot, but with the title picture these days, you just never know. Still, I'm very interested to see how these two skilled veterans match up.