UFC president Dana White announced on Thursday that the winner of the UFC 157 co-main event between light-heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson will determine the next challenger for the promotion’s 205-pound title. The Machida vs. Henderson winner will get a crack at the winner of the UFC 159 championship bout between current title holder Jon Jones and challenger Chael Sonnen. UFC 159 takes place April 27 in New Jersey.
“I love this fight. Stylistically I think it’s a great fight. Machida has his style where he lays back and counter-punches and Henderson is move forward. He’s aggressive and in your face the entire time. I think the fight is going to be a great fight, and this fight is all about the winner,” said White at the UFC 157 pre-fight press conference. “The winner gets a shot at Jon Jones.”
The two co-main event participants were hopeful that the winner of this bout would earn a title shot and they even expressed their hopes last week during a UFC 157 conference call.
“I believe, out of this fight, whoever wins should definitely be the contender for the title. If we’re number one and number two then the title shot should definitely be on the line in this fight,” Machida said.
Machida rebounded from a loss to current champ Jon Jones at UFC 140 with a knockout victory over fellow contender Ryan Bader, while Henderson is currently riding a four-fight win streak that includes wins over Babalu Sobral, Rafael Feijao, all-time great Fedor Emelianenko at heavyweight and mixed martial arts legend Shogun Rua.