UFC 145: Dan Henderson confirmed as next challenger for UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

As expected Dan Henderson will get the next shot at UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones following Jones’ third Title defense, a decision win over Rashad Evans at UFC 145 in Atlanta.

Henderson, who vacated his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship to return to the UFC last fall, earned a slot as the next in line behind Rashad Evans when he defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139. The five round decision win was his fourth straight win, and he decided to wait out a shot at the belt until later this year.

At the UFC 145 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White confirmed that it will, indeed, be the next fight for both Jones and Henderson, though it’s obviously too soon to put a date on the fight. Jones has said he would like to fight at least three times in 2012, so it will likely come as soon as possible.

Penick’s Analysis: I think August is a realistic slot for the fight. Three and a half to four months of a turnaround for Jones, Henderson’s ready to go as soon as possible, and it will fit in as one of two likely pay-per-view events in the month. Jones has proven himself to be an incredible talent, and he’ll face another test in the big right hand of Henderson. It should be another great fight, and a chance for Jones to establish himself as perhaps the best Light Heavyweight Champion in the UFC’s history.

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