Dan Henderson: Shogun First, Then Jon Jones

November 14, 2011
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Dan Henderson victorious at Strikeforce

Dan Henderson victorious at Strikeforce

If there’s one thing you can say about Dan Henderson, it’s that he doesn’t back down from a challenge.

The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has faced some of the best fighters in the world at 185 and 205 pounds, and even made a trip to heavyweight for his most recent fight where he knocked out former pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko.

So it should be no surprise that when he signed his new deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Henderson asked to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Henderson saw no need in wasting time, so he wanted to get a title shot on day one, but when he was offered Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 instead, he happily accepted.

“I actually would have rather been in a fight for the title, but this fight excites me too. Shogun’s a tough guy, and it’s gonna be a big challenge,” Henderson told MMAWeekly Radio recently.

Had it not been for Rashad Evans’ inability to take his scheduled fight with Jon Jones due to injury, Henderson is pretty sure he actually would be fighting for the belt at UFC 140.

“Had Rashad said he was injured two or three weeks earlier, I probably would have had that fight instead of (Lyoto) Machida,” Henderson revealed.

No matter, he is motivated and ready for his match-up with Shogun at UFC 139. Both fighters spent several years fighting in Pride Fighting Championships in Japan, but never met in the ring.

Henderson has, however, watched Shogun fight several times, from his days in Japan all the way to his recent run in the UFC. Breaking down the fight footage, Henderson sees some gaps in the Brazilian’s performances, but still considers him as dangerous as ever.

“I think he’s always been a little bit hot and cold, but when he’s on, he’s a little dangerous and tough. When he’s off, he’s still tough just not quite as tough as he normally would be. Everybody has those days, but it seems like the last couple of years he’s been hot and cold,” Henderson said.

Much like anything in the UFC, performance pays off and even though former champion Rashad Evans is waiting in the wings for the winner of the Jon Jones/Lyoto Machida fight in December, nothing is guaranteed until bout agreements are offered and signed.

With the right kind of fight plus injuries that slow down contenders, Henderson could absolutely earn a shot at the light heavyweight title with a win at UFC 139. But while Henderson would love to add a knockout of Shogun to his resume, he won’t start headhunting just to prove a point or make a play for a shot at the belt.

“I’m not going to try extra hard to knock him out just to get a title shot,” said Henderson. “I’m going out there first and foremost to win the fight, and obviously try to finish him along the way.”

If Henderson is victorious, he’s ready to take on the challenge of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones right away if possible.

It’s a fight that intrigues him, but also presents certain problems, and as evident by every other fight Henderson takes, it’s all about the challenge.

“I do think that would be a fight I would enjoy,” Henderson said about facing Jones. “He’s awkward and unorthodox and it creates something to think about and how to beat that, and that’s what excites me these days. Guys that are a big challenge, and he would be more cause he’s awkward and dangerous at the same time, but I think he matches up really well with me style wise.”

Henderson definitely respects Jones for all the talent that he possesses and believes he has a bright future ahead, but he’s not ready to buy into the talk that he’s one of the best already.

“I’m not one to buy into things too quickly. I’ve been doing this for a long time and seen a lot of guys beat a lot of tough guys really quick and then die out,” said Henderson.

“I think he’s going to be around a long time, he’s just going to get better. But at this point he’s still got a lot to improve on, and he’s athletic and talented and he does learn. He’s got a huge future, but I think he’s got a little ways to go.”

Will Henderson get the chance to prove he’s better than Jon Jones?

First he’ll have to get past Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and then he’ll worry about UFC’s reigning light heavyweight champion.

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  • wonggfan

    Exciting match. Hendo has never been KOed and has been looking impressive as of late.

    • Black Belt

      Thanks for taking time out of your busy, important, know-it-all life to state the obvious, moron. They removed my last comment because you must have complained like a baby. You dish it out, but can’t take it.

      • wonggfan

        No thank you for taking time out of your unmeaningful know-nothing life. They removed your last comment because they felt bad for you.

        • Black Belt

          I am not the one that sits around waiting for someone to make a mistake so I can blast them and make myself feel better about having a horse-shit life. You are a loser, plain and simple. Everyone on this site hates you, and it’s clear that you hate yourself. You are a waste of time to everyone that you come across in your miserable life.

          What kind of LOSER sits around studying people’s profiles on this stupid site??? You seem to pride yourself on knowing people’s ages on here. You are a bitter, low-life waste of life. This isn’t coming out of anger, it comes out of fact. I can almost guarantee that you have few or no friends in your life. I can also tell, just by your miserable attitude that your family probably has little or nothing to do with you either. You seem to believe you are better than everyone else, when in fact, you you and your “college degree” are pathetic. I have never encountered a more negative and nasty person as you in my life. That comes from a LACK of education, not an abundance. You are truly an asshole. You are lucky that we will never meet face to face, because I would very slowly and painfully shove your college degree so far up your ass you would taste it!

          • wonggfan

            LOL! you know…you’ve been stalking me for the last week or so.

            And you call me a douche?

            I am not sure how I got on your bad side but I apologize if I offended you in real life.

            Is it because of the college degree comment? Look, we live in 21st century America. Pretty much anyone can enroll oneself in a community college and transfer to a state university. Federal and state grants are there to help you out. I know. I know. Maybe you don’t like studying. Maybe you don’t believe in education. Maybe you think college is a waste of time.

            But just take a look at your comments. They are full of grammatical and/or logical errors. That is all I am going to say.

            P.S. You, my friend, are a HORRIBLE writer.

  • Henderson has beaten a lot of great fighters and he is definitely tough, but he has also lost to Shields, Rampage, Anderson Silva, Kazuo Misaki, Minotoro, Minotauro, and Arona. He has been winning lately, but it has not been fighters of the caliber of Shogun, Machida or Jon Jones. It’ll be good money for him, though. I’ll pass on the ppv, though.

    • wonggfan

      This is correct.

      • Black Belt

        I don’t think he cares that you back him up on his point. WonggFAG has spoken!

        • therealmo

          i believe henderson is over rated too. If you look at it he barely beats rich and loses to rampage. forrest beats rampage and dominates rich then loses to shogun

        • wonggfan

          Lol! You are sooo upset! It is sooo easy to get under your skin..lol!!!

  • johnnylopes

    Hendo will beat Shogun, Jones will beat Machida, Jones will beat Hendo, and any other LHW that attempts to stop him

  • I think Hendo could give Jones a good fight. That right hand can knock anybody out and I’ve always said Hendo is a much better 205lb fighter than he ever is at middleweight

    • wonggfan

      I disagree.

      Hendo doesn’t have enough recent fights at 205 for you to make that statement. The whole reason why he dropped to 185 was because he lost to Lil Nog back in Pride MW GP. Since then, Hendo has gone to win titles and extend his career. At 205, he was struggling with bigger opponents.

      As of late, he defeated three fighters at 205, if you count Fedor. However, Feijao and Babalu are not top caliber fighters, although in the top 15.

      Hendo has lost to Arona, Lil Nog, Rampage, and Wanderlei at 205. He has beaten Wanderlei (post-Cro Cop fight), Babalu, Belfort, and Feijao at 205. He destroyed Bisping at 185.

      If you ask me, Hendo belongs in 185. He will throw good fights with Rampage, Forrest or Rashad. But will lose to them. Against Shogun, Lyoto, or Jones, he will very likely lose.

  • MikeMc1983

    Since jones will obviously run over everyone you might as well not even have him fight. He should just hang them up now. It’s not like he could ever get caught by anything.

    • wonggfan

      Okay, since you took your precious time to correct my grammar (albeit EPICPWNAGE), I’ll return the favor.

      You need a comma after “everyone.” Dependent vs independent clause.

      Pretty much the entire comment is written awkwardly. But you are a 28-year old without a college degree. These are errors that a college graduate would generally not make.

      Good luck with your life.

      • Black Belt

        There is our cock-sucking friend, wonggFAG picking on people again. Daddy must have been really bad to you, huh? You are trash, and even you know it.

  • MikeMc1983

    “Exciting match. Hendo has never been KOed and has been looking impressive as of late.”~~~WongDong

    Hmm, I can’t believe Wong made errors.

    Exciting matchup is what you were looking for. That’s not a proper sentence your way. Also, you should have used a coma before the conjunction you used. If you don’t know what that is I’m sure you can look it up. I’m going to let go the fact that you can’t put in a few extra keystrokes, and spell “knocked out.”

    See how insanely lame what I just did was? Maybe you wrote it in the manner you did because it’s just a comment on a mma news site. I could go and try to pick apart every message you write, but I just got off work, and I have to go take care of the girlfriend. Don’t worry, you might be able to buy one if that degree your looking forward to can make you enough money.

    • wonggfan

      (1) LOL! Match and Match up are too different words you retard.

      (2) ” That’s not a proper sentence your way.” <–this is not english.

      (3) it is comma not coma you retard. And NO! You do NOT need a comma there.

      (4) " I’m going to let go the fact that you can’t put in a few extra keystrokes, and spell “knocked out.” <– THIS IS NOT ENGLISH!

      (5) See how insanely lame what I just did was?

      P.S. "Don’t worry, you might be able to buy one if that degree your looking forward to can make you enough money." <– THIS IS NOT ENGLISH!

      • wonggfan

        sorry two different words not too.

        lol at illiterates on this site.

        • damn dude. why does it seem everyone wants to take a shot at you? fu cking relax people.

          • wonggfan

            not everyone. Mostly Black Belt and McMike 1983.

            As you’ve noticed, they are horrible writers and dumb posters. They lack common sense.

            So I told them that they need to go get a college degree. It’s kinda sad to see a 28-year old making grammatical errors on this site.

            That’s when they started doing this. Pretty much they’ve been following me around for the last two weeks trying to convince me that college degree ain’t shit.

  • jesusdidnt.tap


    • Black Belt

      LOL!!!! Wonggjap, wonggFAG, etc. He is a cock sucker!

  • Mario

    All of you need to shut the hell up..

    You guys come on an MMA website to talk shit to each other? Both of you have no life as far as I’m concerned. Flooding the comment section with your bickering.

    This ain’t youtube guys!

    Now, to what’s IMPORTANT actually.. Dan Henderson vs. Jones would be an interesting match, but I see him getting overwhelmed in that fight if it ever happens. Jones is far younger and would approach the fight with a cautious/smart approach, much like he does in all his fights. Whereas I see Dan simply relying on his “big” right..

    In other words: Jones would pick him apart little by little

    Dan would just swing hoping he catches him.

    But he wont.

    • wonggfan

      Since when did you become a moderator?

      Anyway, you write better than McMike 1983 and Black Belt. I have a feeling that they are foreigners or highly uneducated adults.

      Hendo vs. Jones will be interesting ONLY IF Hendo beats Shogun, which I don’t think is going to happen.

      • Black Belt

        Ouch, wonggFAG says I am bad at writing. I might actually be upset if those comments came from someone that didn’t live with his mommy. You should understand that you are a person of low quality. You can go around correcting everyone’s mistakes, or telling people that their comments are not valid all you like. It doesn’t change the fact that it makes YOU look like a complete and total loser. You are the bully in the schoolyard that seeks out the weaker kids to bully because you want to be big and bad. I jumped in to defend someone on here that you picked on, and now you want me to go away. Well, it’s not going to happen. Since you insist on showing us how smart you are, and you enjoy shitting on everyone here, I will be all over you on this site. I will follow you everywhere on here.

    • MikeMc1983

      You are correct, as funny as I find the Wong bashing by everyone I shouldn’t have joined in. It’s funny he said I’ve been following him, when he replies to 90% of the comments I leave. I may find his stuff funny, but I shouldn’t have helped him muddy up the comments section. I’m going to go back to trying to provide content with my post rather than insult the kid.
      I will say that I almost always post first about the topic. I’ll try to keep it to that. I very well may fail, but I’ll try. 🙂

      • wonggfan

        You are a horrible writer…so….bad!

        Please…go get a college degree!

        Just one question. How come you don’t have a college degree?

        • Black Belt

          Seriously, has anyone ever met a bigger loser than wonggfag?

        • Black Belt

          He doesn’t have a degree because he was too busy nailing your mother to get one.