Earning an unimpeded path to a second consecutive title shot in the main event on May 23’s UFC 187, Daniel Cormier benefited in a big way when original headliner Jon Jones was forced out of the massive event when the UFC stripped him of his title last week.
Cormier’s previous UFC Fight Night 68 opponent Ryan Bader did not.
Originally looking to score his biggest-ever win, the UFC instead confirmed that Bader has been yanked off the June 6 card from New Orleans, Louisiana.
The previously scheduled middleweight co-main event between skidding veterans Dan Henderson and Tim Boetsch moved into the FOX Sports 1-aired card’s headlining spot.
One of the most respected fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history; Henderson has lost five out of his last six bouts against tough competition. His last three losses came by way of finish to Cormier, Vitor Belfort, and Gegard Mousasi, and his only win in that span was a come-from-behind knockout of longtime rival Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at last March’s UFC Fight Night 38.
The unrelenting former Pride champion won’t entertain the idea of retirement at 44 years old. He’ll look to get back on track against Boetsch, the 34-year-old competitor who has lost four out of his last six. Boetsch’s last two losses also came to top competition in Luke Rockhold and Thales Leites, and he did score a “Performance of the Night”-winning finish of Brad Tavares at last August’s UFC Fight Night 47 from his home state of Maine.
“The Barbarian” will be on the hunt for his biggest-ever win against “Hendo,” who, despite his declining track record, is still a big name.
Henderson and Boetsch may not ever be legitimate contenders, but they can certainly still put on exciting fights.
The heavyweight slugfest between blazing hot Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell took over for Henderson vs. Boetsch as the new co-main event from New Orleans.
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