Dan Henderson, “There’s Only One Fight I Want at 185… and He Won’t Fight”

September 29, 2011
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Former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson won a UFC tournament his first tour through the promotion, but has yet to hold a UFC world title outright.

Will the third time be a charm?

Could be since Hendo is returning to the Octagon at UFC 139 in San Jose, Calif., to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. UFC president Dana White has already said that the winner of that bout is likely the next light heavyweight contender behind current No. 1 challenger Rashad Evans.

That’s the weight class where Hendo is most comfortable, and he’d be happy to make another run at a title there after having failed to unify the Pride 205-pound belt with the UFC’s when he made his second tour of duty with the promotion.

But truth be told, light heavyweight wasn’t in the plans when he was negotiating his third run through the Octagon. Henderson was initially planning on avenging a loss to current UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva upon his return.

“I prefer to fight light heavyweight. I’m not fond of cutting weight anymore. There’s only one fight that I’d probably fight at 185, and he won’t fight right now I guess. That’s Anderson,” Henderson said at Tuesday’s UFC 139 press conference in San Jose, Calif.

“That’s the fight we originally talked about.”

And it’s not a fight that Henderson appears ready to let fall by the wayside. Though he’s in an interesting situation to get it. He would likely need to be successful against Shogun for there to be enough spark to make such a fight tenable. But on the flipside, a win over Shogun also puts him in the catbird seat in the 205-pound division.

There doesn’t appear to be a definite road map laid out for how the whole scenario would have to play out.

“When he’s ready and if this thing goes right and if Dan wants to cut that weight, then we can talk about Anderson Silva,” said White.

For now, however, Hendo has a tough task on his hands in Shogun on Nov. 19 in San Jose.

  • I don’t think a second fight with Anderson would be any different than the first. Dan needs to concern himself with 205 pounds.

    • While I think that Anderson would win the rematch, Dan is one of the few fighters that I think has the mental fortitude to come back and be competitive against a guy like Anderson. As far as who is out there for Anderson to fight at 185 pounds, I think Hendo is still one of the best options.

    • Cptmats

      205 would be even worse, I think he has a much better chance of beating Silva than he does Jones

    • MrAdidas

      I would have agreed with your statement up until Silva’s fight with Sonnen. I think Henderson would do what Sonnen did, rush in & dont let Silva get comfortable, keep him thinking defense & then take him down. The thing is Henderson is a better wrestler than Sonnen & he has ALOT – ALOT more power in his punches. Hendersons mistake the 1st fight was in the 2nd round he tried to stand & bang with Silva, rather than stick with what was working in the 1st round, which was… his wrestling. If Sonnen had half the power Henderson has in his fists, Silva would have been KTFO. Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying Henderson would beat Silva & have a piece of pie after the fight, I’m just saying I think Henderson would do alot better 2nd time around, especially if he took a page out of Sonnens book. Though the fight I want to see @ MW is Silva Vs. Sonnen or Brian Stann (more so Sonnen – to see if he was lucky the 1st time around or did he figure out how to beat one of the best fighters to have ever fought in MMA). I guess time will tell!

    • emoney911

      Hendo would get beat even worse in the silva fight his 2nd try his chin is still decent but he gets rocked every fight and the silva sonnen 2 fight is the only mw fight id wanna see itll answer a lot of questions

  • I don’t disagree with that statement.

  • jared499

    I also think that Anderson would win the rematch. Hendo in the first fight was really gassed going into round 2. I am not sure if that was the weight cut, but if he can get his conditioning up then he stands a good chance. I think Hendo would use the same gameplan as Sonnen did.

    Either way as Ken stated, I think that if you look at what is available to Anderson at 185lbs, Hendo is the best fight. The only other fight I want to see is a rematch with Sonnen to see how all the injuries and things for Anderson really affected the outcome of the first fight. Or Stann if he beats Sonnen.