UFC President Dana White today told MMA Nation's Luke Thomas that the winner of UFC 139's Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua headliner is likely to get a light heavyweight title shot after Rashad Evans faces the winner of this weekend's UFC 135 Jon Jones vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson bout.
"It would be tough not to give the winner of (Henderson vs. Rua) the next shot, after Rashad" said White.
Henderson (28-8, 5-2 UFC) is returning to the UFC after a tour in Strikeforce where he fought in three weight classes and compiled a 3-1 record. He also took the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, which he'll be abandoning to return to the UFC. Henderson's only loss in Strikeforce came at middleweight to current UFC welterweight Jake Shields. While with Strikeforce he beat Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante and the legendary Fedor Emelianenko.
Hendo compiled a 3-2 record in his 2007-2009 UFC run. He fought for both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles, losing to Anderson Silva and Rampage Jackson respectively. Henderson was the final middleweight (205lbs) and welterweight (183lbs) champion for Japan's Pride Fighting Championship. His storied MMA career goes back to 1997.
Rua (20-5, 4-3 UFC), a former Pride Middleweight Grand Prix winner, lost the UFC light heavyweight title to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in his first title defense. He's struggled with knee injuries since joining the UFC, having three knee reconstruction surgeries in four years. He's coming off a UFC 134 win over Forrest Griffin.