Dan Henderson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The matchup that will eventually be selected to headline UFC 105 in Manchester, England on November 15 is anyone’s guess at this point, but for now, we at least have two fights that could be under consideration for the spot.
Despite reports stating that Dan Henderson isn’t interested in a showdown with fellow UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt, UFC officials are reportedly targeting a fight between the two as the main event of UFC 105 according to MMA FanHouse‘s Ariel Helwani.
As of right now, Michael Bisping’s return bout against Denis Kang and a welterweight bout between Dan Hardy and Dong-Hyun Kim are the only fights advertised for the show’s main card. Complicating matters even further is Josh Gross’ Sports Illustrated report stating that Henderson isn’t even under contract with the UFC at the moment.
Henderson reportedly finished off the remaining fight on his UFC contract with his highlight-reel knockout of Bisping at UFC 100 in July. According to Gross, Henderson and the UFC are currently working on a new deal but negotiations are being described as “slow” at the moment.
A verbal agreement was reportedly reached prior to the announcement of Henderson’s previously scheduled rematch with Rich Franklin for UFC 103 later this month, but fell apart after fans reacted to the bout in a negative way. (Message boards lit up in the days after the fight was announced with cries of a second fight between the two being unnecessary)
New UFC signee Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was also reported as a possible opponent for Henderson at UFC 105, but those rumors ended up being false.
If an agreement with Henderson is unable to be reached in the coming days, the UFC could be leaning towards moving a scheduled heavyweight clash between former champion Frank Mir and slick striker Cheick Kongo from UFC 107 in December to UFC 105 per UK-based Fighters Only Magazine.
The switch would likely severely impact both Mir and Kongo, who would be heading into the fight with shortened training camps, but would give UFC 105 a main event with enough star power to draw decent numbers for a planned Spike TV broadcast of the event.