Rich Franklin could meet Dan Henderson Jan. 17 at UFC 93
by Dann Stupp on Sep 30, 2008 at 10:15 am ET
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (24-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) could meet former PRIDE title-holder Dan Henderson (23-7 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at a UFC event tentatively scheduled for Jan. 17 at The 02 in Dublin, Ireland.
Sources close to both fighters told MMAjunkie.com
) that the Franklin-Henderson fight has been discussed as a possibility for the fight card, though bout agreements have not been distributed.
The tentatively scheduled event was first reported by Yahoo! Sport UK & Ireland
That report stated that Franklin could meet Chuck Liddell or Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the event's headline bout. But sources close to the fighters said that a Franklin-Henderson fight may be the most likely option.
However, sources said it's not known if the fight would take place at 205 or 185 pounds (nor is it known if the fight would even be a main event). Although Henderson has bounced between the two weight classes, Franklin only recently moved up to 205 pounds after more than three years competing as a middleweight. Earlier this month at UFC 88, he defeated Matt Hamill via third-round TKO (due to a body kick) in his return to light heavyweight.
Meanwhile, after suffering championship losses to then-UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 and middleweight title-holder Anderson Silva at UFC 82, Henderson picked up his first UFC victory in more than 10 years with a unanimous-decision victory over Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88.
Recently, Henderson has been rumored as a possible coach for the ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter." The upcoming installment of the UFC's reality series will feature a U.S. vs. U.K. theme and begin filming in January. Season-three winner Michael Bisping is the logical choice to head the U.K. team. However, if he were to fight in January at UFC 93, Henderson would seem an unlikely candidate to head the U.S. squad.
In any manner, UFC 93 could also feature the long-awaited grudge match between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, according to the Yahoo! report. The "TUF 6" coaches were originally scheduled to meet in December 2007, but Serra was forced out of the bout with a back injury. (Hughes has since been sidelined by a knee injury suffered in a loss to Thiago Alves earlier this year.)
Serra recently told
MMAjunkie.com he expects the fight to happen in early 2009 and that he "plans on retiring" Hughes.
To date the UFC has never hosted an event in the Republic of Ireland. The recently revamped O2 (formerly "The Point") can hold nearly 13,000 spectators.
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