Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin takes on former PRIDE dual champion Dan Henderson at light heavyweight in the UFC 93 main event and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will seek his first UFC win and will look to avenge a 2006 loss against UFC hall of famer Mark Coleman in the 205-pound co-main event.
“Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson is a battle between two great former champions who are both looking to get another chance to wear a world title around their waist,â€ said Dana White, UFC President. â€œFranklin is the former UFC Middleweight champion, and heâ€™s a dangerous striker with solid submission skills â€“ he also showed great takedown defense in his September destruction of powerful wrestler Matt Hamill. Dan Henderson is the former PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight champion. Heâ€™s a world class wrestler, known for his great chin and his one punch knockout power. He defeated formidable Brazilian submission specialist Rousimar Palhares in September. These are two fan favorites with a lot of pride on the line as they want to show that they are still among the very best fighters in the world.”
“We are delighted to be returning to the Emerald Isle again, especially with such blockbuster main and co-main events,â€ said Marshall Zelaznik, UFC UK Division President. â€œThe O2-Dublin is a fantastic venue that will create a memorable UFC experience. After smashing box office records in Belfast in June 2007, we promised our Irish fans we would be coming to Dublin, and now on January 17 the worldâ€™s most exciting live sports experience travels across the Irish Sea – we know this will be a great night for our fans.â€
â€œThis is the fight my fans have wanted for a long time now, and they want to see me fight Rich Franklin,â€ said Henderson. â€œI think this will be a great fight for Ireland, it definitely will be exciting because we both like to stand and bang, and we both have knockout power. Iâ€™m excited to go to Ireland and to take on Rich; I think heâ€™s a tough opponent and a huge challenge, but I donâ€™t see myself losing to him.â€
â€œDan Henderson has great credentials, and he is going to be one of the toughest fights of my career,â€ said Franklin. â€œThat being said, Iâ€™m planning on winning the fight, and Iâ€™m looking forward to fighting in the main event and fighting in Ireland. I love the fans, and the way they react by singing and chanting makes it a unique experience for me.â€
UFC 93 will air on tape-delay pay-per-view beginning at 10pm ET.
Ticket information for UFC 93 will be announced shortly.