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Dan Henderson Named Next Challenger for Champ Jon Jones

Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson

ATLANTA -- After beating four consecutive UFC champions, the road will not get any easier for current light-heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones.

The 24-year-old star's next opponent will be multi-time, multi-division champion Dan Henderson, according to UFC president Dana White, who confirmed the pairing shortly after Jones topped Rashad Evans at UFC 145.

More Coverage: UFC 145 Results | UFC News

White didn't have a timetable for the fight's scheduling, but said UFC 149 in Calgary could be a possibility.

"You know what? I feel great that I already have a mission," said Jones (16-1). " I'm going to work extremely hard to better myself. I did things that I could've done better. Dan Henderson is an awesome opponent. He’s a winner and he has a huge fan base. I'm sure the haters are going to come right away. I'm OK with it. There's going to be a lot of things to conquer in this fight. He has extreme knockout power. I don't know who hits harder between him or Rampage. He has extreme knockout power and I’m excited to conquer it."

The 41-year-old Henderson has been sitting on the sidelines since last November, after beating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a match considered by many to be the best MMA fight in the sport's history.

Henderson (29-8) was in attendance at the Philips Arena to watch Jones beat former teammate Evans. He has won seven of his last eight overall. If he beats Jones, he'll be the only man ever to win major championships in the UFC, Strikeforce and PRIDE.