Dan Henderson is back in the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson will return to the Octagon in November against former UFC titleholder Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Both sides have verbally agreed to the contest, Sherdog.com confirmed Monday following an initial report from MMAWeekly.com, and the bout likely will serve as the new main event of UFC 139.

The pay-per-view card, which takes place Nov. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., was previously set to be headlined by another high-profile U.S.-Brazil showdown, Cain Velasquez versus Junior dos Santos. The heavyweight title tilt will instead go down one week earlier in Anaheim for the promotion’s Fox debut.

Henderon was last seen in the UFC in July 2009, when he knocked out Michael Bisping in vicious fashion. The 41-year-old makes his UFC comeback after posting a 3-1 record in Strikeforce. “Hendo” captured his 205-pound gold with a March stoppage of Rafael Cavalcante and in July became the first man ever to knock out heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko.

Rua, 29, comes fresh off a two-minute demolition of Forrest Griffin on Aug. 27 in Rio de Janeiro. The vintage performance put the Brazilian back on track following the first knockout loss of his nine-year career, a March title loss to current 205-pound ace Jon Jones.

Other matchups expected for the Nov. 19 card include a middleweight duel pitting another former Strikeforce champ, Cung Le, against Vitor Belfort, and a high-profile bantamweight affair between ex-WEC titlists Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles.

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