When UFC officials discussed their new seven-year broadcast mega-partnership with Fox, they bandied about staging "big fights for big Fox." In that case, what could be bigger than the self-proclaimed "best mixed artist on the planet?"
According to reports from Tatame.com, the UFC is in negotiations to have Anderson "The Spider" Silva headline the promotion's November 12th network debut in a rematch with Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson. The reported bout would take place at 185 pounds and be held in Anaheim, California. MMAWeekly.com confirmed the validity of the report Wednesday afternoon.
However, the plan is contingent on Silva taking care of the present before he can look to the future. The 36-year-old champion is currently scheduled to defend his title against top middleweight contender Yushin Okami at UFC 134 on Saturday. Should Silva emerge victorious, he would have over two months to prepare for the UFC's primetime debut.
Nonetheless, both the UFC and Henderson have reached a point where the bombastic 41-year-old's return to the organization is all but agreed upon. All that is reportedly left to be finalized is the veteran's salary and the expected purse of a matchup with Silva. Though that was an issue Henderson anticipated as he capped his Strikeforce contract with a startling win over Fedor Emelianenko.
"It will probably come down to money, but it's coming from the same people," Henderson said to MMAWeely Radio last week. "So, it's a matter of where they're going to make the most money off of me as well, and to be able to pay what I'm getting paid, they need to be making money as well."
While no headliner has been officially announced for the UFC's debut on Fox, company President Dana White candidly referred to it as "the biggest moment in UFC history," so it makes sense that the promotion would want to start with their best foot forward. In all likelihood, that foot is Silva, thus Saturday could have farther implications than many had imagined.