Rafael Cavalcante sets title defense
Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante will defend his belt for the first time March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, against one of the most accomplished fighters in mixed martial arts history, Dan Henderson.
The five-round bout was confirmed by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker during a post-event press conference in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday.
Cavalcante, 30, captured the title last August with a third-round upset over Muhammed Lawal. Following a hiccup against Mike Kyle in 2009, the Brazilian (10-2) rebounded with three consecutive victories.
Henderson, who turns 41 this summer, stopped Renato Sobral in his last bout at 1:53 of round one in St. Louis, Mo., last December. The victory set the stage for the former two-division Pride champion and UFC veteran to earn a shot at the Strikeforce light heavyweight belt.
Henderson (26-8) also fought for the promotion's 185-pound title in 2010, falling short on points to then middleweight champion Jake Shields after a three-year stint in the UFC that came to a close when he left the promotion as a free agent.
Though Coker declined to discuss other bouts on the the card, he informed ESPN.com earlier in the week that a women's welterweight championship between titleholder Marloes Coenen and Meisha Tate would also take place at Nationwide Arena.
The Strikeforce card is set to coincide with three-day Arnold Sports Festival, which is named in honor of founder Arnold Schwarzenegger and brings together more than 18,000 athletes competing in over 45 sports and events.
Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.
MORE MMA HEADLINES
- MacDonald-Saffiedine to headline UFC Fight Night
- Welterweight Diaz 'happy' with UFC contract
- Drysdale, Casey facing bans for failed tests
- Silva, Diaz return as main event for UFC 183