The knee injury that sidelined Dan Henderson from a potential date with light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is still lingering, and could cost him a proposed February co-main event with Lyoto Machida, UFC president Dana White said on Saturday night after UFC on FOX 5.
And if that is the case, the promotion might offer that UFC 157 spot to last night's co-main event winner, Alexander Gustafsson.
"Henderson, I keep hearing his knee isn’t better right now, so maybe he gets a fight with Machida," he said on the FUEL post-fight show.
Gustafsson, who has won six straight fights, seemed as though he would be open to fighting immediately instead of waiting for a chance to compete for the belt after Jones and Chael Sonnen square off in the spring.
After waiting eight months between fights, Gustafsson (15-1) said he would prefer to stay active rather than have another long layoff.
"I want to fight for the belt, but if they give me one before that, it doesn't matter," he said. "I’ll fight whoever UFC gives me."
Later, when he was more specifically asked about a possible fight with Machida on Feb. 23, he said he would have to discuss any offer with his team.
As of now though, it's all speculative. White was not definitive on Henderson having to withdraw from the fight; it was just a possibility, and he was just throwing out a potential solution. For his part, Henderson tweeted later on that he was OK, writing, "Not sure where Dana White thinks he's hearing that my knee isn't doing ok. It's doing great. Slowly picking training up just like I do for every training camp." So there may be signals crossed somewhere. But just in case, if the time comes and White calls on Gustafsson, he expects the Swede to fight.
"We’ll see what happens," he said. "If i was him, I’d want to get another fight in."