It was so good that we’re going to get to see it again… in a rematch.
Shogun and Henderson are expected to headline the as yet unannounced UFC Fight Night 38 event slated for March 23 in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, according to an initial report by Brazilian website Tatame.com. MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed that the fighters have verbally agreed to the bout.
Shogun and Henderson first fought at UFC 139 in November of 2011. The result was an epic five-round, non-title fight that went bell to bell. Each man was on the precipice of victory a number of times, only to have the other fight back from the brink.
Henderson won a unanimous decision in what was the consensus Fight of the Year for 2011.
Shogun (22-8) has since gone 2-2 in the Octagon. He bounced back with a TKO stoppage of Brandon Vera, but then dropped back-to-back fights to Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen, which effectively derailed any hopes of title contention for the near future.
After his fight with Sonnen, which served as the launching pad for the new Fox Sports 1 network, Shogun recently scored a first-round knockout over James Te-Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 in December, staving off questions of a possible retirement or perhaps a move to middleweight.
Henderson (29-11) has also come to a crossroads in his career since his first fight with Shogun. Although he was at the forefront of the title picture at the time he defeated Shogun, Henderson went on to lose his next three fights.
Losing to Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and then Vitor Belfort, the retirement question that has constantly swirled around the 43-year-old fighter hit a fevered pace, especially since Henderson had fulfilled his contractual obligations to the UFC with the Belfort bout. Henderson, however, isn’t ready to hang up his gloves, and the UFC still sees value in having him in the Octagon, since fans continue to clamor for his fights.
Like their first fight, Shogun vs. Henderson 2 is expected to be a five-round, non-title fight.
(Erik Fontanez contributed to this report.)
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