UFC 157: Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida Will Be Epic Battle

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 17, 2013

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  (R-L) Dan Henderson connects with a right to Mike Bisping during their middleweight bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

I know Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche are the headline fight for UFC 157, but the co-feature of Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida will potentially be one of the best fights of the year.

If Henderson wins, it seems that nothing should be standing in the way of him finally getting a shot at Jon Jones, assuming Jones defeats Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.

Machida is definitely no easy win, though. He completely destroyed Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4, but prior to that, Jones had outclassed Machida at UFC 140.

Because we've already seen Jones-Machida, most MMA fans have to be hoping Henderson comes out on top. When a champion has been as dominant as Jones, fans want to see him challenged by fresh faces.

Henderson is a 42-year-old veteran of 37 professional fights, so his face isn't all that fresh, but at least he hasn't been steamrolled by Jones yet.

His dynamic power, experience and granite chin is a great match for Machida's excellent striking skills. Machida has lost three of his last five fights, but all three losses came against major names (Quinton Jackson, Shogun Rua and Jones).

Rarely will you get an opportunity to see two legendary fighters compete against each other, but this is one of those events.

Both men have the power to create a spectacular finish, but Henderson definitely has the better chin. That will be the key factor in this fight.

What does Machida do when he lands a major shot and Henderson is still there throwing bombs?

An injury cost Henderson a shot at Jones previously (per Yahoo! Sports), but he won't be denied in this one. The fight will be entertaining, but when we look back on it, we'll call this the fight that symbolized the end of The Dragon's career.

My prediction is a third-round KO by Henderson.


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