Henderson's Title Hopes Put on Hold

July 20, 2009

Since Dan Henderson's dominating victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 100, he's been vocal about his desire to take a stab at the middleweight title, but it appears that those plans will have to wait.

UFC.com has confirmed that Hendo will take on Rich Franklin, in a rematch of their January fight, as the headliner of UFC 103. This announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise. Many thought Henderson was deserving of a shot at the title after his attempted murder of Bisping two weeks ago, but apparently the UFC wants to see him beat Franklin (for the second time this year) before letting that happen.

In fact, this begs the question of whether or not a win over Franklin really does guarantee Hendo a title shot; a win over a guy you just beat doesn't prove much. And it's not likely that win for Franklin earns him a three-match with Anderson Silva. So you have to wonder what the motives are for putting this fight together.

Barring another title shot, there's not much left to interest Henderson in the middleweight division and it's possible that Dana White has already decided Hendo won't get a second shot at "The Spider." So maybe this fight will take place at light heavyweight (or a catch weight) and the winner will make their case for taking a run at Machida's title.

Of course it's possible that this is all a bunch of unnecessary speculation and the UFC simply thinks Franklin deserves a rematch, considering their last fight came to a very close decision, but who knows.

It's also been confirmed that Mirko Crop Cop will fulfill his second fight on a three-fight deal with a bout against rising star Junior Dos Santos.

UFC 103 will take place at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas on September 19.