Sports

UFC: Henderson faces Guida at 'Super Bowl' of fighting Nov. 12 on Fox

Just days after inking a new multi-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), Ben Henderson was added to the UFC on Fox card.

The Decatur High School grad will take on top lightweight contender Clay Guida in the co-main event Nov. 12 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main event will be a heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. The card will be the first-ever network televised event by the UFC.

"We're getting the opportunity from Fox to become mainstream," said UFC President Dana White. "We're not sitting around patting ourselves on the back saying 'look we made it.' Now's the time to work. Now's the time to deliver. Everything we've done the last 10 years, we actually need to step it up to another level and deliver even bigger and better now that we're on the No. 1 network in the country."

Henderson has won both of his UFC starts since moving over from the smaller World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). Henderson held the organization's lightweight championship for over a year. His consecutive defeats of Mark Bocek and more recently Jim Miller have come in decisive fashion, rocketing Henderson up the divisional rankings.

The winner of the Henderson-Guida fight will, most likely, fight for the UFC championship early next year. Current champion, Frankie Edgar, and the No. 1 contender, Gray Maynard, fight on Oct. 8 in Houston.

Henderson has won 12 of his last 13 fights and is 14-2 overall. His last loss came to Anthony Pettis in the final bout in WEC history in December 2010. Guida (29-8) has rallied from two straight losses in 2009 to post four wins in a row. He most recently beat Pettis in a unanimous decision. The UFC and Fox are both promising a mega-event feel for the first show in Anaheim.

“I will say one thing we will be doing is launching the UFC on Fox with a Super Bowl-style red carpet and tailgate party with every star in Hollywood, and every dignitary we need to get out there to launch this thing," Fox Sports President Eric Starks said last week.

“This is going to be an event of all events,” White said.

Henderson, 28, began wrestling during his time at Lakota Middle School and continued at Decatur, where he competed under head coach Mike Bressler.

His prep career culminated with a second-place finish at the 2001 Mat Classic state wrestling championships inside the Tacoma Dome, losing to University’s Tommy Owen in the 135-pound title match.

After Decatur, Henderson went on to wrestle at Dana College in Nebraska, where he earned NAIA All-American honors as a senior after finishing in fifth place at 157 pounds in 2006. Henderson’s performance helped Dana College win the NAIA national championship that year. He actually started MMA fighting a year later after a dare from a couple of Dana wrestlers.

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