09-04-2008, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Henderson driven by Pride in upcoming dust-up
Ex-champ driven by Pride in upcoming dust-up
UPDATED: 2008-09-03 02:50:56 MST
By NEIL DAVIDSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Dan Henderson has plenty of respect for Rousimar Palhares as a mixed martial arts fighter.
But the former Pride champion is not so keen on having him as an opponent.
In Henderson's mind, beating the Brazilian submission expert -- a relative newcomer to UFC ranks -- doesn't move him back up the 185-lb. ladder.
The two meet Saturday night at UFC 88 in Atlanta on the undercard of the Chuck Liddell-Rashad Evans main event (available on pay-per-view).
Fighting in Japan, Henderson (22-7) held the equivalent of the middleweight (185-lb.) and light-heavyweight (205-lb.) titles on the Pride Fighting Championship circuit. He has fought championship bouts in each weight class since returning to the UFC, losing to light-heavyweight title-holder Quinton (Rampage) Jackson at UFC 75 in September 2007 and middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 82 in March.
He told UFC officials he wanted another fight as a middleweight because he felt he had more to show than he did against Silva.
"They gave me a fight at 185 but I told them I wanted to have a fight to get me a title fight a little quicker and this fight doesn't do that," said Henderson.
"I just wanted to fight," he added. "I told them I'd fight whoever. Wasn't really thrilled with the opponent selection, but it's alright as long as I'm fighting. And I want to make sure I beat this guy up and move on."
Silva's next title defence is Oct. 25 against Montreal's Patrick Cote at UFC 90 in Chicago.
Palhares, 28, made an impressive UFC debut in May when he submitted Canadian-born veteran Ivan Salaverry at UFC 84.
Salaverry became Palhares' latest submission victim when the Brazilian slickly transitioned to an armbar to prompt the tapout in the first round.
Last edited by vandalian : 09-04-2008 at 10:47 AM.