Dan Henderson is nearly set for his first fight since an injury forced him out of a title fight with UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will meet fellow contender Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) at UFC 156 on Super Bowl weekend, he told Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live" on Thursday.
UFC officials, though, haven't made a formal announcement.
UFC 156 takes place Feb. 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas with a featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. The main card, including the likely Henderson vs. Machida fight, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Henderson originally was scheduled to fight Jones at UFC 151 in September. However, a knee injury forced Henderson off the card (which UFC officials later canceled), and the division went on without him. First, Jones fought and defeated replacement Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, and then the champ and Chael Sonnen were named coaches for the upcoming 17th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Jones and Sonnen then meet at a PPV event on April 27 in Newark, N.J.
So for Henderson, this a must-win fight to keep his title hopes alive. In what UFC President Dana White has suggested will be a No. 1 contender's bout, Henderson looks to defeat Machida for his fifth straight win and his eighth victory in his past nine fights. After a title reign in Strikeforce and a return to the UFC, Henderson topped Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a "Fight of the Year" performance at UFC 139 a year ago. It marked his most recent performance.
Machida, meanwhile, hopes to reclaim the title he once held. Machida recently was on a 1-3 skid that included a title loss to Rua, a contentious split-decision defeat to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and a title loss to Jones. But Machida recently picked up a second-round knockout of Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 to get back on track.
The latest UFC 156 card includes:
Champ Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar - for featherweight title
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida*
Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira*
* - Not officially announced