Friday, Nov. 18, 2011 | 6:30 p.m.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Although two preliminary card fighters came in over their weight limit, all 12 scheduled bouts are official for the UFC’s most improbable card of the year.
The men in the final nine fights at tomorrow night’s UFC 139 made weight Friday at the HP Pavilion, which was an unlikely UFC venue as recently as eight months ago.
The HP Pavilion was the unofficial home to Strikeforce, formerly the UFC’s top mixed martial arts competitor, for the past five years. But the UFC purchased San Jose-based Strikeforce earlier this year.
Two of Strikeforce’s top draws and former champions, Dan Henderson and Cung Le, headline the UFC’s first show at HP Pavilion. Le (185) meets Wanderlei Silva (185) in a middleweight co-main event. Henderson (203) encounters Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) in a light heavyweight tilt to cap off the event.
“It’s going to be a violent fight,” Rua said in a video shown at the weigh-in, “and the fans are going to be very happy.”
Rua and Henderson kept their distance while posing for a stare down photo after stepping off of the scale. That’s in stark contrast to both of their fighting styles, as the two are known for moving forward and keeping pressure on their opponents.
It’s also a lot different than the photo opportunity Martin Kampmann (170) and Rick Story (170.5) squared off for. Story placed his forehead on Kampmann’s, which forced the Las Vegas-based fighter to shove him. UFC President Dana White jumped in between the two welterweights a split-second later.
White had plenty to monitor at Friday’s weigh-in. Nick Pace (141) and Shamar Bailey (158) weighed in a combined nine pounds over their respective weight limits.
Pace and Bailey will forfeit 20 percent of their purse for missing weight. Pace’s opponent, Miguel Torres, also came in a pound too heavy initially.
But Torres hit the 136-pound limit upon a third attempt.
Tom Lawlor (185) drew a laugh from those in attendance by dressing up as famous martial artist and actor Steven Seagal. Lawlor completed the bit by throwing a fake front kick, which Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida both used to win fights earlier this year and said they learned from Seagal.
“I feel great,” Henderson said after he made weight. “It’s very nice to be back in the UFC. It’s my first time fighting in my home state of California.”
Check below for full results from the UFC 139 weigh-in.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) vs. Dan Henderson (203)
Middleweight Bout: Wanderlei Silva (185) vs. Cung Le (185)
Bantamweight Bout: Urijah Faber (136) vs. Brian Bowles (136)
Welterweight Bout: Martin Kampmann (170) vs. Rick Story (170.5)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Stephan Bonnar (205) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (205)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Ryan Bader (205) vs. Jason Brilz (204)
Bantamweight Bout: Michael McDonald (136) vs. Alex Soto (135)
Middleweight Bout: Tom Lawlor (185) vs. Chris Weidman (185.5)
Lightweight Bout: Gleison Tibau (155) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (155.5)
Bantamweight Bout: Miguel Torres (137) vs. Nick Pace (141)
Welterweight Bout: Matt Brown (171) vs. Seth Baczysnki (171)
Lightweight Bout: Shamar Bailey (158) vs. Danny Castillo (155)