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Fabio Maldonado to undergo knee surgery, hopes for Dan Henderson fight next

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

UBERLANDIA, Brazil -- Fabio Maldonado is riding a four-fight winning streak as a light heavyweight in the UFC, but he won’t be able to get back in action anytime soon.

The Brazilian striker scored a second-round TKO victory over Hans Stringer at UFC 179 on Oct. 25, and he entered that bout with a knee injury.

"My knee was already injured, but I completely tore my left meniscus during the fight," Maldonado told the media during Brazil’s UFC Fight Night 56 on Nov. 8. "I tore my meniscus when Stringer took me down for the third time. I’m glad that the fight was over pretty quickly. I also tore the medial collateral ligament before the fight."

Maldonado expects to undergo surgery later this week or early next week, and could be sidelined from training until 2015.

"I will undergo surgery and start physical therapy in two days," he said. "I believe I will be ready to train again in six or eight weeks."

Riding the second longest winning streak in the UFC light heavyweight division behind reigning champion Jon Jones, Maldonado would welcome an opportunity to face former PRIDE champion Dan Henderson in his next bout. He would also be down to fighting Ovince St. Preux, who called him out after defeating Mauricio Rua at UFN 56.

"I never picked any opponents and I don’t run from anyone, but there’s a guy I would want to fight: Dan Henderson," Maldonado said. "Maybe I don’t deserve to fight him, but I would really love to. He’s an idol and I respect him a lot. It would be an honor to fight him."

Henderson is planning on dropping down to 185 pounds for his next UFC fight. Maldonado, is 4-1 since 2013, would cut extra 20 pounds for the opportunity to face his idol.

"If I have enough time, I would do it. It’s a good offer," he said. "I was at 217 pounds after the Glover Teixeira fight, but I gain weight pretty easily. I would consider cutting down to 185 only for the Dan Henderson fight, but I would prefer to fight him at 205."