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Machida: I'm fighting Henderson on February 23

ESPN staff
November 17, 2012
Lyoto Machida says Dan Henderson is nothing like Randy Couture © Getty Images

Lyoto Machida expects to be fighting Dan Henderson on February 23 in Anaheim, he told ESPN on Friday.

Machida is set to take on the veteran light-heavyweight in a UFC 157 battle that will likely lead to a title shot for the winner.

Henderson and Machida had been scheduled for UFC 156 on February 2 but Henderson is keen not to rush the recuperation of a knee injury.

A switch to the February 23 card would not only give him extra time to prepare for the challenge of Machida, but the event is also based close to where he lives in California.

"They said February 23," Machida told ESPN when asked about the bout on Friday.

"Henderson is a tough fighter, he's had a lot of tough opponents, and it's great opportunity for me to earn a title shot."

Henderson may have an advantage over Machida after he helped Randy Couture study the Brazilian. Machida won that battle with a spectacular crane kick knockout, but he expects a different test from Henderson.

"It's completely different. Henderson is from a different style of wrestling, he likes to punch, and he's faster than Randy Couture. He's a dangerous guy."

The main goal for Machida is to earn a rematch against Jon Jones, to whom he has already lost via submission. The Dragon did become the first man to take a round off Jones in that fight, and he knows he could do things differently second time around.

"I'm not convinced with my first fight. I believe in myself. I have to have more passion, I have to change the strategy during the fight sometimes."

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