UFC 172: Jones vs TeixeiraUFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones defends his title for the seventh time against Brazilian powerhouse Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC 172 in Baltimore. Read More +
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Former PRIDE® and STRIKEFORCE® champion (No. 6) Dan Henderson will take on surging title contender (No. 5) Daniel Cormier in a highly-anticipated light heavyweight clash at UFC® 173 on Sunday, May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Henderson-Cormier bout will serve as the night's co-main event.
Coming off an impressive KO victory against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in March, Henderson (30-11, fighting out of Temecula, Calif.) proved he still has what it takes to compete with the UFC's best. Currently ranked sixth in the division, Henderson owns career victories over some of the sport's top names, including Fedor Emelianenko, Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin and Rafael "Feijão" Cavalcante. Now, he looks to derail Cormier and move closer to a coveted UFC title shot.
Undefeated in his professional career and currently ranked fifth in the UFC's talented 205-pound division, Cormier (14-0, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) made his light heavyweight debut in February by knocking out Patrick Cummins. A teammate and training partner of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, "DC" holds signature victories over former UFC champions Josh Barnett and Frank Mir. A victory over MMA legend Henderson on May 24 could secure him a date with the UFC light heavyweight champion.
The upcoming undercard for UFC 172 features the No. 2 flyweight in the world, as Joseph Benavidez looks to get back on track in the division when he faces Timothy Elliott in the featured bout on the prelims, while former Ultimate Fighter competitor Jessamyn Duke looks to pick up her second win in the Octagon when she takes on Brazilian striker Bethe Correia.
PRIDE legend Takanori Gomi also returns this weekend when he draws Team Greg Jackson fighter Isaac Vallie-Flagg.
All told, it's an action-packed slate of fights with implications on the top 10 rankings, as well as some top up and comers looking to make waves in their respective divisions. With so many close matchups, these fights could also determine the winners and losers in the UFC Fantasy game so let's take a look at a few of these bouts to see who has the advantage come fight night.
Following 15 fights to open The Ultimate Fighter 19, the one fighter who was already in the house without actually battling inside the Octagon to get there was Irish fighter Cathal Pendred.
Now it wasn't Pendred's idea to coast through the elimination round without actually fighting to get to the house, but a litany of injuries and other hopefuls missing weight left him sitting in the audience as a bystander, scouting potential opponents instead of fighting alongside them to prove his worth.
Pendred was already considered a hot commodity coming from Ireland, where he was a welterweight champion in the Cage Warriors promotion, while also storming the gates of the UFC via Twitter with a public campaign to get President Dana White's attention at any cost. It also doesn't hurt matters that Pendred is a teammate and close friend of UFC featherweight Conor McGregor, so he was probably just taking the lead from the outspoken 145-pound contender on how to end up on everyone's radar.