Dan Henderson has been pulled from his UFC 103 scrap against Rich Franklin due to fan disinterest. It was one of many announcements that UFC president Dana White made during Friday’s conference call, including who Franklin’s new light heavyweight opponent will be.
“We just signed Vitor Belfort,” White stated. “Vitor Belfort is now fighting Rich Franklin at UFC 103… It is now Rich Franklin versus Vitor Belfort headlining Dallas.”
The light heavyweight fight was initially announced two weeks back, however fans scoffed at the notion of having the rematch headline the UFC’s return to the Lone Star State.
“Fans didn’t like it, there was backlash so we changed it,” White said.
Hendo took a controversial split decision over the former high school math teacher in their first meeting at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland.
Since that light heavyweight tango, each has fought just once. Henderson is fresh off one of the most devastating knockout wins in his career as he slapped Michael Bisping silly last weekend at UFC 100.
Franklin most recently took a unanimous decision victory over Wanderlei Silva in a 195-pound catchweight bout at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany last month.
The next thing that came out of Dana’s mouth must have had Hendo doing cartwheels as he has now leapfrogged into a title fight.
“Dan Henderson is definitely next in line for the title shot,” White stated.
And when exactly will that 5Round affair take place?
So when will Henderson get his next title shot?
“It depends on what happens next week [at UFC 101],” White said. “If [Silva] doesn’t get busted or have injuries, it could be very soon.”
Here is the new and improved lineup for September 19th’s pay-per-view shows:
Aaron Simpson vs. TBD
Steve Steinbeiss vs. TBD
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rob Emerson
Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller
Drew McFedries and Tomasz Drawl
Sean Sherk vs. Gleison Tibau
Hermes Franca vs. Tyson Griffin
Frank Trigg vs. Josh Koshcheck
Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann
Junior dos Santos vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort