Their reasons may have differed, but both Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida squandered previous opportunities to square off with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
When Henderson had to bow out of the historical UFC 151, promotional president Dana White reached out to Machida, essentially begging the former champion to step in for the injured former Pride and Strikeforce champ.
Machida refused the fight on account of time constraints in his training camp for Jones, the man who choked him unconscious at UFC 140.
But more than six months after the debacle that was UFC 151, “Hendo” and “The Dragon” each once again find themselves on the cusp of reaching the big dance.
A murky scenario in the light heavyweight title scope has solidified Henderson and Machida as the alpha dogs in the division, aside from Jones of course.
So Henderson and Machida, the No. 1 and 2 contenders at light heavyweight, according to the UFC rankings, will basically tangle in a title eliminator bout at UFC 157, with the winner almost definitely to lock horns with the winner of the Jones vs. Chael Sonnen tilt at UFC 159.
Here are a few reasons the winner of the Henderson vs. Machida scrap deserves a shot at the winner of the Jones vs. Sonnen bout.