Rafael Feijao. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.
A long-rumored bout between former UFC and PRIDE star Dan Henderson and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante has been booked for Strikeforce's upcoming March 5 show at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced the matchup as official on Saturday during the post-fight press conference for the promotion's "Diaz vs. Cyborg" event.
In addition, Coker stated that a venue for the organization's April 9 show, which will showcase two heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal bouts, would likely be announced sometime next week.
Feijao will defend his belt against Henderson, the only fighter to ever hold titles in two different weight classes before the collapse of PRIDE nearly four years ago. The Team Quest co-founder dropping an unanimous decision to Jake Shields in his Strikeforce debut last April, but bounced back with a vicious first-round knockout of Renato "Babau" Sobral this past December.
Cavalcante, currently riding a three-fight win streak, took home Strikeforce's 205 lb. championship after dispatching of former holder Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal via third-round TKO in August. A regular training partner of the Nogueira brothers and UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva, "Feijao" owns wins over Strikeforce vets Aaron Rosa and Antwain Britt as well.
Strikeforce's plans for an April 9 show, which would feature Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, are rumored to be targeting a debut in Japan.
Overeem is known as one of Japan's biggest draws at the moment, as is Barnett, who will be hard-pressed to find a state that will license him after botching re-licensing procedures in California.
Coker is also in talks with Sotaro Shinoda, a figurehead at Real Entertainment, the former production company of PRIDE and the co-producers of DREAM along with K-1, to begin an eight-man lightweight grand prix tournament in May.
The banner under which the show would run remains unknown, as FEG, the parent company of K-1 and DREAM, may cease operations due to financial problems, some that stem from a large amount of debut owed to Real Entertainment employees.