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Benson Henderson vs. Thiago Alves targeted for main event of UFC's South Korean debut

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC is close to finalizing the main event for its debut event in South Korea.

According to sources close to the promotion, the UFC is targeting a welterweight fight between Benson Henderson and Thiago Alves to headline the Nov. 28 show at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea. The fight has yet to be finalized, but if it is, expect it to be announced in the coming weeks.

Henderson (22-5), a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion who's coming off an undisclosed injury, has decided to stay at 170 pounds after his successful debut against Brandon Thatch in February. His team has always maintained that they were open to fighting at 155 or 170 pounds, they just wanted big fights. And for Henderson, whose mother is South Korean, headlining the UFC's first show in the region would certainly qualify as a big deal.

"I'll do whatever it is I physically, possibly can," Henderson said on a May episode of "The MMA Hour" about fulfilling his dream to fight in South Korea. "I will be ready for that Korea card. And you're going to see a whole new beast.

"I think we decided, my coach and I, John Crouch, to go up to 170. We're going to take the time off to rebuild my body. We're going to do a whole new unveiling for 170. I'm trying to walk around at 182 to 185, walk around at maybe six- or five-percent body fat, and just be explosive. Really open some eyes up with my next fight at 170."

As for Alves, he has decided to put his reported plans to move down to lightweight on hold for now,  as well. However, sources close to the veteran fighter said recently they wouldn't rule it out in the future. Alves (21-10) recently had his two-fight winning streak snapped when he lost via second-round TKO to Carlos Condit in May.

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