The pair first met back in 2006 at Pride 32 in Las Vegas, with “Hendo” emerging with the decision victory. Belfort will enjoy the home turf advantage in this one, as he will be fighting in front of the Brazilian faithful once again. The “Phenom” has never looked better than what he has in his last two fights, a pair of highlight-reel head kick knockouts of both Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.
The frightening thing for Belfort’s opponents these days is that he has added those devastating kicks to an already powerful striking game. The speed is also still there. The recent run of success has Belfort campaigning for another title shot. The lone losses since his return to the UFC have both been title defeats, coming against light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and middleweight champ Anderson Silva.
If Belfort is able to secure a third consecutive victory in November, a title opportunity would be realistic — or there’s also the possibility of what would be a huge grudge match against Chael Sonnen.
For Henderson, this opportunity against Belfort could be the end of the line if he fails to emerge victorious. It’s clear that the soon-to-be 43-year old has slowed down considerably since that remarkable battle at UFC 139 against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. That fight took a lot out of both men, and Henderson has been bothered by injury issues and a pair of rather ordinary performances in losses against Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.
Henderson still has that granite chin to rely on and if it’s a standup war with Belfort, there’s always the possibility of Henderson landing that H-Bomb, which can take out anyone. However, in recent fights, his punch output and the accuracy haven’t been up to snuff.
Anytime you get two MMA competitors with great pedigrees inside the Octagon, it’s a fight that fans want to see. Can Henderson turn back the clock and come up with one more virtuoso performance, or will Belfort continue the destructive run that he’s been on of late? Can’t wait to see how it will play out.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports