Updated: August 6, 2012, 6:50 AM ET
By staff |
Monday, Aug. 6
Weight Class:

The light heavyweight division has been under the possession of Jon Jones for the last year and a half, yet there's one last viable spoiler out there -- Dan Henderson. Jones will defend his title against Henderson on Sept. 1 at UFC 150 in Denver. After that, there's a sizable gulf that Jones himself created by wrecking every former champion, plausible contender and up-and-comer in the division.

Just don't tell Saturday night that.

Things were crackling during the miniature 205-pound tournament that was pre-deemed a four-man title eliminator by Dana White. Whoever won most emphatically would get the winner of Henderson/Jones, and it was a tight race, as both Mauricio Rua and Lyoto Machida showed well in victory. Machida's knockout of Ryan Bader was seen as the better of the two, and now the "Dragon" will wait for UFC 150 to play out to determine who his shot will come against.

Of course, things can change. Machida, who weighed in at 201 pounds for the fight, was half suspected to be on the move to middleweight. Now, with a title shot reappearing in front of him, that seems unlikely. If it is indeed Machida against Jones, expect the selling point to be this: Machida is the only guy in the UFC to have won a round against Jones. That's some straw grasping right there, but it's at least something.

That is, unless Dan Henderson bucks the odds and wins some rounds over Jones. Or, crazier still, if Hendo finds a way (at 41 years old) to take the belt from the young phenom. If Henderson were to accomplish that, he would go from heavy underdog to potentially the best 205er that ever was.