Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Rematch of Consequence as Pride Works on the U.S.

In another move for Pride's campaign in the United States, Wanderlei Silva (31-6-1) and Dan Henderson (21-5) will rematch at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on February 24th.

Silva has been fighting professionally for over ten years now, and has become so popular in Japan that he has developed a cult status among casual American fans. They know about those brutal knees that he delivers with intense efficiency, and they recognize the intimidating style he has used to become Pride's first and longest running middleweight champion. He's been defeated once at 205-pounds since he first won the title in 2001, losing only to Ricardo Arona in August of 2005. He has beaten heavyweights and 205-pounders, and discarded of almost every challenger that has come his way. His credentials, in a word, are unquestionable.

Enter Dan Henderson, just as tough and in his own way as brutal as Silva. Nicknamed "Hollywood," maybe for the irony, there isn't much that's flashy about the guy. He fights steadier than perhaps anyone else in the game, looking better against Yuki Kondo when he had the flu in 2004 than most do healthy. If it's a 170-pound champion or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, sometimes it's tough to tell if Henderson notices. He fights like he always does, with flashes of toughness that few are able to express. His credentials, in a word, are unquestionable.

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