For the second time in six months, the stage is set to definitively answer one of the fundamental questions burning in the collective minds of middleweight fight fans worldwide: who is the real champion?
At UFC 82, reigning UFC 185-lb champion Anderson Silva will face reigning PRIDE 183-lb champion Dan Henderson to end the debate, at least for now, as to who is the unchallenged ruler of the mixed martial arts middleweight kingdom.
Silva is on the verge of the most successful middleweight championship run in UFC history. His March 1 unification fight will be the third defense of his title. If successful, he will break his current tie with former champion Rich Franklin and set a new standard against which all future middleweight champions will be measured.
Henderson is the only 183-lb champion that PRIDE has ever known, winning the title by defeating Murilo Bustamante at PRIDE Shockwave 2005. Two years later, Hendo shocked the word by savagely knocking out then-205-lb champion Wanderlei Silva to become the only simultaneous two-division champion that the sport has ever known.