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Dan Henderson vs. Anderson Silva Is Next UFC Middleweight Title Fight

Dan HendersonUFC President Dana White had his long-awaited conference call on Friday, and after all was said, no one could be happier about the news of the day than Dan Henderson, who learned that his next fight will be against Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title.

Henderson had previously been scheduled to fight Rich Franklin in the main event at UFC 103, but White said he listened to the complaints of fans who didn't want to see a Henderson-Franklin rematch, and he opted to put the newly signed Vitor Belfort in the Octagon against Franklin at UFC 103 instead. That left Henderson available to challenge Silva.

A Henderson-Silva rematch should be a good one. Silva will certainly be the favorite, but Henderson, coming off an impressive knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100, has as good a chance of beating Silva as anyone at 185 pounds. Henderson already fought Silva once and looked very good in the first round before getting submitted in the second.

Silva, of course, is moving up to light heavyweight to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 on August 8, and we don't yet know when he'll be ready to move back down to middleweight to defend his belt. White indicated, however, that he thinks the Silva-Henderson fight will happen relatively soon if Silva doesn't suffer an injury against Griffin.

If there's anyone who's unhappy with the news that Henderson is next in line for the UFC middleweight title, it's Demian Maia and Nate Marquardt, who will fight each other at UFC 102. Many fans expected Maia or Marquardt to get the next crack at Silva, but White said the Maia-Marquardt winner would have to wait. Henderson is officially the No. 1 middleweight contender.

For a full report on Dana White's conference call, read my UFC Twitter updates.