MMA Weekly reports that Dan Henderson will return at UFC 88 to fight Rousimar Palhares:
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.
This is a gigantic step up in competition for Palhares, who is really being given a shot to sink or swim. This shows how desparate they are to establish contenders for Anderson Silva. In any other division, guys like Palhares would have to win 3 or 4 UFC fights to get a shot at a guy like Dan.
On the other hand, it is a dangerous fight for Henderson. He has to win to keep his spot in the UFC, and a third loss in a row would really damage his reputation. A win over Palhares won't do much for his name either, but he is coming off two losses, and this is a good chance to rebound. I suspect the winner of this will get the winner of Cote/Almeida to determine a future title shot at Anderson Silva.
I am fairly surprised by this announcement, because I thought we'd be seeing Henderson and Franklin fight each other this year. Franklin's next fight is anybody's guess, we don't even know what weight class he'll be fighting at. A fight with Bisping in the UK might sell tickets, but frankly I'd rather see him at 205, fighting guys like Wanderlei Silva.