Dan Henderson: “(Lyoto Machida) Did a Good Job Not Fighting”

February 24, 2013
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Dan Henderson UFC 157 Pre 7-478x270Dan Henderson felt he did enough to get the decision nod against Lyoto Machida in the co-main event of UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche on Saturday.  Ultimately, he lost to Machida by split decision.

“In my mind, I thought I did enough to win the fight, but it was my fault.  I don’t place the blame on the judges.  I should have been a little bit more aggressive.  I let him fight his fight a little too much,” said Henderson during the post-fight press conference.

Machida frustrated Henderson with his counter-punch style and elusive movement.   The fight didn’t play out as Henderson envisioned.

“I apologize for that.  Normally that’s not my type of fight, a little bit boring.  He did a good job moving around and was real hard to hit.  I needed to stay in his face and cut him off a little bit better and make him fight.  He did a good job not fighting, just picking and choosing when he threw some strikes,” said Henderson.

“He did a good job moving and I shouldn’t have let the judges decide that fight.”

The frustrating loss only serves as motivation. Henderson wants to stay active throughout 2013 and believes he has more to accomplish in the sport.

“Obviously, I’m bummed out.  I wasn’t planning on losing, and I’m not by any means done.  I still have goals that I want to reach in this sport.  I want to fight as soon as I can.  I’m ready to go in June or July.  I didn’t have the best last few months, but I feel a lot better now and I want to be real active this next year.  That much time off is never good.  I don’t want that to happen again.  I’m getting a little old,” he said.

Henderson is 42 years old and the window of opportunity to cap off his already Hall of Fame worthy career with a UFC title is quickly closing.

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  • Jmoney510

    Thought dan did enough to get the nod. refs should warn fighters like they did in pride for running/stalling and not fighting. BS fight on my opinion.

    • socks

      Its called evading strikes from a powerful striker to counter with your own. Which is what Machida did exactly

  • Agreed, yet once comfortable, at the end of the fight, Machida showed to be the better fighter.

  • jay

    i thought fan won 2 and 3 … 2 on aggression and body/leg damage … 3 for that time he spent on top …. i also think rd one was DEAD even until Machida tripped him and Dan should have just muscled him down no matter how much energy it took.

  • Jason

    I had it as a draw. I had the 1st round even, and thought they spit the last two. I understand the way The dragon fights. But in a future bout, it can hurt him like it did VS Rampage. Both guys are classy fighters, and it’s good to see Dan, even when bummed out, saying the other guy did just enough to win.

  • Timothy Malone

    The stats show Machida landed more significant strikes, so if he was “not fighting” then that doesn’t say much about the abilities of Dan Henderson.

    • marcus miles

      agression and octagon control mean nothing anymore in judging a fight i guess

      • jeffreyjordan

        what does it matter if you are ressive if YOU DONT HIT ANYTHING. Seriously!! Hendo “literally’ never touched Machida!!

        • YoureAnIdiot

          Hendo landed over 50 strikes, Machida hit around 28, Machida only landed 7 more significant strikes, go look it up on fightmetrics moron. Not to mention octagon control and aggression go to Hendo. No one should have won this fight.

          • Luis Rivera

            Most of those where to lyoto’s legs which did little damage. Watch the fight again

          • is machida’s eye swollen? like hendo? hahaha hendo hit air machida hit hendo and thats the bottom line hahaha

    • Milosc

      This is the fine line of MMA. It’s a sport, but also “combat”. Not simply loopholes

      Who ass did Machida kick?

      • wrestling lives

        Machida TOYED with hendo!!…Who ass did Hendo even touch??

        • YoureAnIdiot

          Hendo landed more strikes at 54 total, he almost doubled Machida’s strikes at 28 total, Machida landed 7 more significant strikes; the statistics of the fight show that NOTHING happened. If backing up and countering when someone wants to entertain their fans is “toying” with someone to you, kill yourself… What fight were you Machida nut huggers watching…???

    • kenny9


  • ozi

    as a fighter U have to fight. if you are a runner you can run away. this fight for me was like a game of cat and mouse.

  • Jason

    Would really like to see Dan go down 185 and make a run.

  • bmc92

    remember the days when chuck was guaranteed a title shot and he still took a fight with renato sobral.miss those days machida is a great fighter but you havta fight i hate this points and run type tactic. he was afraid because it was for a title shot.

  • b-soc

    Doesn’t matter who won. With a performance like that, neither of them stands a chance against Jon Jones. Dan knew what Machida was going to do and not do – Machida was not going to stand and trade. He never does! Time for Dan to retire and Machida to get exciting.

    • kbroesq

      I agree that the performance didn’t do much for me to support either of these guys against Jones, but Machida is exciting. I mean, he’s had some spectacular KO’s and knocked out Evans, a guy who hasn’t been KO’d before. He’s had great KO’s against Bader, Silva and Couture.

  • chad

    You can’t retreat for 3 rounds and win a fight. Machida was backing up for 3 rounds scoring a couple “insignficant” strikes while running from the aggressor Henderson. I don’t care what the scorecards says, you have to give that fight to Dan. If Machida doesn’t want to fight, cut him from the UFC roster. There’s plenty of guys out there who WANT to fight.

    • Advance*

      I agree 100%. He landed like 30 strikes and won. That’s crazy. It’s not like he had ground control, submission attempts or he hurt Dan with any of the shots. It was 30 forgettable strikes in about 13 minutes of stand up fighting. Aggression is supposedly part of the judging criteria so he obviously gets a 0 for that. Who cares if he landed a couple more strikes each round. It was close enough that you give it to the guy that actually tried to fight

      • BOB

        So you give more credit to intention instead of result???????? WOW THIS IS NOT THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS

      • hahaha machida out strikes him 3 to 1 what is aggression if u cant connect! can u knock me out over the internet bro? hahaha dan just face a better kickboxer than him thats why he lost dan only has his overhand right as a weapon machida uses a basic karate block then moves out of the way and give dan a basic 1-2 punch combo machida is the clear winner here 🙂

    • yes

      Hey moron! Machida made hendo hit AIR. who cares if hes the aggressor. Its about landing and not getting hit. Even hendo admits machida fought his fight. Machida dictated were the fight was therefore hendo was in his world

    • Madmaax9

      It’s all about being able to hit the guy more then he hit you. With that being said, I’m disappointed with Machida’s performance. Don’t think he deserves the Jones fight after that.

    • DamianCross

      While I agree that Machida’s “style” is basically against the rules of MMA and makes for bad fights, I don’t understand why this is a problem NOW? Machida has been fighting this way for years and I’ve never seen any concern about it. Why are we all acting so shocked that the fight went down this way?

  • Mike

    There is something called forcing the action/fight. Machida failrd in that regard. (Again) He at his core is a point fighter…. youll hear alot of fans of point fighting backing him up, and saying he landed more… His strkes were mostly weak taps…. i saw him land 3strikes id deem signifigant. The rest was lame Karate point fighting. Tap, tap, run. He and Carlos condit should start a school on point fighting. But that isnt mma…. dont confuse yourself. Mma has an unwritten bushido code. To COMPETE with the most game opponant to determine the superior combatant. Lay and prey requires a skill set at least …. at least it is a skillset neutralizing another. This running away and tapping bulls*** isnt fighting tho.

    Im not suggesting you shouldnt use a strategy to wear your opponant down and use your cardio to your advantage . Bu we all know that isnt what is occuring. Its tap tap tap for points… hide at the perimeter. It is a tactic for rangy point fighters they’re afraid to engage and go for the kill.
    In my opinion this type of strategy if used continually throughout the fight … should either be reset or ding em for a couple points for failure to engage. It to me is just like standing fighters up when they dont force the action. Whf

    • is hitting air better than hitting the face of your opponent? how can you win a fight? ko submission points. did dan ko machida? did he sub him? oh yeah he got out pointed 🙂 and thats the bottom line hahaha if you want to beat machida hit him not air. ya dig??

  • Mike

    Its just like making a wrestler stand for not forcing the action …. which is a ridiculous advantage for strikers… it crushes a wrestlers gameplan and gives a striker a free shot…. itd be like forcing condit or machida to the ground in but allow him to go to half guard. Same thing.

    We dont have to watch Brendan Shaub wallow over a roider with zero wrestling ability… they make em get up and fight. Since we cant do that with someone hiding in stand up exchanges…. we should dock points.. se if that creates a need to at. least attempt signifigant strikes. Mma is about finishing…. not points. Go watch Karate… dont ruin my sport newbs. I’ve been here sonce 93′ NOT paying to watch Lyotos stunning range, unwillingness to engage. He or Condit. Hope you can run around.in circles and win by cardio or points. Bitch shot. Why train for that. Its crap. Worst thing is vs Jones machida was aggressive…. fear creates these strategies…. fear of hendo, and fear of diaz. Its.competitively wrong. Like trt.

  • Chris M

    problem is henderson only has one move and too a well rounded fighter its going to be hard to pull off! machida was way to quick for him!

  • Chris M

    and chad complaining over there maybe if henderson hit machida more then 3 times he would have more of a chance winning lol and henderson was on top on the ground and did nothing! you wanna say machida didnt fight who landed more strikes? Machida

  • tom

    more significant strikes is only part of the scoring. It was so close and with dan being the aggressor, that counts big for dan in scoring so if dan did not get the edge, It should have at least been a draw. Anyway if your in your prime at the top of the world Machida/ cannot take a 40 plus year old guy with a bum knee and ankle i would not want the win. Dan is one Bad Mother …………..with dynamite in his hands

  • Adam Bianski

    looked to me like machida was the better fighter. would have liked to see rds four and five. for everyone saying dan was the aggressor, yes he moved forward but throwing wild haymakers that hit only air means nothing in my eyes. the one time hendo had him backed into a corner he retreated. at the end of the fight machida showed who was the better fighter.

  • adam1848

    I thought this was a pretty boring fight and as a fan of both fighters I’m disappointed, but I really don’t see how that judge gave the fight to Henderson. I like Dan, but I thought he looked slow and had no game plan. Everybody knows what Machida is going to do…Dan talked before the fight about wanting to solve the puzzle…I saw no sign of that. If you look at this fight as a chess match, Machida won every step of the way…unfortunately, it was about as exciting to watch as a game of chess as well. Still a fan of both guys, but Machida needs to spend less time fainting and more time striking, and Dan needs to do more than just try to land one big right, in my opinion.


    “” Machida doesn’t want to fight, cut him from the UFC roste There’s plenty of guys out there who WANT to fight. “” THANKS CHAD ! I WANT MACHIDA OUT UFC ! HE LIKE CHICKEN !

    • killer

      You are not need in the mma world. YOU ARE AN IGNORANT. Please stop watching mma and go to youtube and put on non technical street brawls

  • rapidfire

    let’s not carry away with stat.
    generally speaking, machida is counter striker.
    machida doesn’t really pursue his opponent if he thinks his opponent is a dangerous fighter. he waits and looks for opening. he avoids any great risk.
    that’s just his style and i think hederson is just being sarcastic by saying “not fighting.”

  • Tyme_5

    Definitely should have been 2 more RDs in this fight. UFC dropped the ball on that one.

    • Adam Bianski

      I have been saying for years that these big time fights need to be five rounds

  • Aaron T

    Here are a few things to take into consideration when you’re trying to digest a fight like this. You have to keep an open mind, and lots of opinions are formed on the flow of a fight. Sometimes the commentary can sway you, sometimes the physical damage can sway you, sometimes just seeing punches being thrown can sway you, and those things can leave you with an opinion that might not necessarily be accurate. This was a boring fight, and Machida has had many of them against people who didn’t engage him, which has always made Machida look bad, but it’s more a testament to his discipline as a martial artist than anything.

    In this fight, the reason it was such a slow fight was because Henderson didn’t give Machida a ton of things to work with. Henderson is a very dangerous opponent and in the strikes that he landed, he could have very well knocked Machida out. Machida’s style is built around counter-striking, but also using feints to set up attacks. Henderson was very hard to make bite on feints, so the boring nature of the fight was more to do with two very sound strategic fighters canceling each other out. Not to say Hendo can’t get into slug fests, but if Machida is unwilling to stand and trade, then Henderson can only do so much.

    Machida landed a total of 28 strikes out of 55 (51%) thrown, but 27 of the strikes landed were significant strikes. Hendo landed 54 strikes out of 98 (56%) thrown, 20 of them being significant strikes. Statistically, Hendo won in accuracy and quantity, while Machida had more significant blows, several being counter knees to the mid-section, sneaky punches while seperating from the clinch, stuff like that. Machida and Hendo both had take downs as well, with Hendo’s take down coming from Machida slip/tripping.

    When I watched the fight the first time, I was pretty sure Machida had won. I thought the octogon control was his, since he dictated the pace the entire fight (other than the couple minutes he was on his back), and as for aggression, I thought Henderson was more aggressive, but that is to be expected when you have a Machida fight.

    When I watched for the second time and really tried to view it in light where I was trying to score the fight, it really was a very close fight that could have gone for Henderson. I think what Henderson did that went unnoticed was how he attacked the body. This didn’t do that much significant damage, although his kicks did do significant damage, for scoring purposes in a decision fight, this was a very wise strategy.

    All-in-all, if you felt Hendo won, you have a case to be made for that. However, I would like to just point out that Machida has always fought this way, it comes from his back ground. It might be boring to you, I find it very entertaining, and it’s also sad that there are people who would call for him to be cut, or claim they aren’t going to watch anymore because of him. If you aren’t going to watch MMA anymore because of his style, then MMA isn’t for you.

    • bobby

      Thank you! In my opinion i felt Machida won 3-0 easily. He fought his fight. Psychologically he won the fight by dictating were the fight took place (hendo admitted). Thats HALF the battle. Everyone machida does this to ends up saying he didnt want to fight and it was boring. When actually they fell into his trap and amazed by his striking

    • kbroesq

      Yeah, I find Machida to be one of the the most entertaining fighters in the UFC. I’m always on the edge of my seat when he fights because I never now what he’s going to do. However, he is a counter striker, so if guys don’t want to engage him, then the fight will suffer.

  • El Gvapo

    This is a difficult one really. I agree it was dull watching that fight but I’m also sick of these fighters who complain that their opponent didn’t fight the fight they wanted them to. What fighters would stand right in front of Hendo and bang? The stupid ones would, the ones who don’t find a way to beat him. Now it’s up to dan to find a way to beat those who don’t just stand there and wait for the big right. If you think he’s running, f***ing chase him. You’re losing the fight anyway, you might just win it this way.

  • Retnan

    It was a boring fight but Henderson most certainly lost, he did NOT do enough to win, he won the final round, that’s all. Machida outstruck him.

  • bajafox

    Thank you MMA gods for now letting this be the main event, I would have demanded a refund.

  • Machida stole round 1 with a take down at the end.
    Nothing happened in round 2
    Henderson won round 3 with a take down and a little ground and pound.
    Fights like these should be called draws. If no one won, why pick a winner?

  • MuayThaiFood

    What have you done for me lately Lyoto? Oh, that’s right, you knocked Bader the **** out! First two rounds to Machida, last one for Hendo. Like it or not, it should have been a unanimous decision.

  • Sharre

    This is a fight who ever gets beat up the most looses. Hendo got beat up the most. While he is sitting here bitching Machida did not fight neither did he for that matter. He stood there moving forward or being the aggressor as some of you idiots are saying and he did nothing with it. He was looking for the right hand the whole fight and he came with nothing else in his arsenal except a few leg kicks. That is why he lost Hendo pulled a Rampage Jackson . When fighting a fighter that is amazing at counter attacks and who is hard to hit like Lyoto you have to be more than a one dimensional fighter and Hendo did not bring his A game. Also the judge who scored the fight for Hendo needs to be fired cause they clearly know nothing about fighting or how to score a fight.

  • GoNoles

    machida is gonna wake up to jones hands in the air again anyway so its whatever.

  • Dacano

    Machida is afraid to engage. Say what you will but to call machida a counter-puncher is one thing – but can one say he was effective…probably not – machida fights to survive not to win…check out machida’s fights where he makes the mistake of engaging (when he thinks he may have an advantage), the result is – he gets knocked out…he has a glass jaw – so he runs…round after round…no credit to Henson – he should gave prepared for a foot race…machida’s fights a exceptionally boring. Why Dana white keeps him around is dumb-founding…karate my ass – marathon runner for sure. Reminds me of that skinny kid – cruz. Can’t wait for the someone to hand him his fleet-footed parakeet ass…

  • Rueben

    “CHASE THAT CHICKEN ROCKY! CHASE THAT CHICKEN!” That’s how ya train to fight Machida.. Peck! Peck! Peck! “Them chickens sure are elusive!” Peck! Peck! NOW FLAP AND RUN!” “IF YOU CAN’T CATCH THAT CHICKEN HOW YA THINK YA GOING TO CATCH MACHITA? “

  • Me

    Yes Dan – I’m sure you would have loved it if Machida planted his feet, closed his eyes and let you plant one of your patented hyper-telegraphed h-bombs right on his mug …since that’s the only conceivable way you were ever going to land it

  • Arman

    The Dragon did not retreat its his strategy. Dan Henderson got exhausted and desperate in the match with Machida because he could not land a solid punch or kick. The dragon makes him sick waiting for a street fight, at the end of the Match the Dragon became “Pretty Boy” but Dan became “Desperado”.

  • kid

    The girls showed moire heart and behaved as if they were more interested in fighting that bother Machida and Hendo.

  • kbroesq

    I just want to leave support for Machida. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You know what you’re going to get when you fight Machida, and it’s not like you’re fighting in an open field. You’re fighting in a small cage. Go get Machida; Jones went and got Machida; Shogun went and got Machida. The reason Henderson didn’t go get Machida is because he knew he was going to get KO’d. That SHOULD be a credit to Machida, and not a basis to criticize him. I’ll admit that I wish Machida would have been a little more aggressive, but just as much blame should be on Henderson. Henderson had a double digit number of chances to throw is H-Bomb in close quarters to Machida and he whiffed it nearly every time.

  • diazfan209

    there is no such thing as landing a significant strike on Dan Henderson

  • Troy

    Ok here is the deal, Machida out pointed him, I think it sucked and was close but I had it 2 rounds to 1. I also feel Dan should have forced a brawl, dangerous but his only chance to score IMO. What we watched was the equivalent of a boxer throwing nothing but jabs and moving all night.
    Flat out boring and one of the reasons I now prefer MMA over boxing.Machida has great skills it is just damn boring to watch.

    • dougvt

      Agreed, I think Machida fought his type of fight (self defence), wich was very boring, never have I seen Dan Henderson in such a boring fight & I’ve seen them all, as far as who won, well, the judges gave to the dragon, not what I thought but thats the way it goes. Love to all

  • Robbie

    Hendo had more significant leg kicks and body strikes also, more than machidas head strikes. 1 take down each. Machida running away the whole fight, Dan octagon control and aggressiveness