Dan Henderson Wants to See What Jon Jones is Really Made Of

August 21, 2012
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Dan HendersonIn the world of competition there’s always going to be a favorite and an underdog.

Heading into UFC 151, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the favorite in his bout against former Strikeforce and Pride champion Dan Henderson, and deservedly so. Rarely does a champion not go into a title defense as the favorite, but lately it seems like Dan Henderson has become almost an afterthought.

Questions continue to fly at Jones about a move to heavyweight or his thoughts on facing Lyoto Machida next. While the champion constantly tries to move the conversation back to Henderson, it seems just about everybody else is convinced he’s going to win and then it’s on to the next one.

The chatter and talk doesn’t bother Henderson. It’s not the first time he hasn’t been expected to win. The great thing about every situation in MMA, however, is that it gets settled in the cage, not by the pre-fight interviews.

“I’m sure I’ve been overlooked and it doesn’t bother me, and I don’t mind at all. I know that I have a date to fight him and I’m going to make the best of it,” Henderson said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio.

Since coming to the UFC in 2008, Jones has looked virtually unstoppable. The UFC’s reigning champion has barely been touched by any opponent, and since capturing the title in 2011, he’s looked like the best fighter MMA has seen since Anderson Silva.

The fact is, however, every fighter is capable of losing. Every fighter has a weakness; the key is finding the right opening to exploit it. Henderson believes he’s seen enough footage by now to know just how to beat Jones in the Octagon.

“There’s a number of things that I think I can capitalize on, but again it’s a matter of me making sure I stick to my game plan and fighting my fight,” said Henderson.

As far as game plans for his opponent, Henderson has heard Jones talk a lot about being the aggressive fighter on the feet and looking for the knockout. While Henderson invites that kind of strategy, there’s not much belief that Jones will actually go out and try to strike with him when they actually meet in the cage.

“I would definitely like for him to come out and try to knock me out, because I wouldn’t have to chase him around that way, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to come out and try to take me down. He’s going to want to try and put me on my back, try to get me tired doing that,” Henderson stated.

As invincible as Jones has looked, the one part of his game that hardly anyone has seen is his ability to get out of bad situations, and how he reacts to being hurt or in serious trouble during a fight.

Henderson plans on testing out all of those things at UFC 151.

“Maybe he can take a pretty good punch, maybe he bounces back after getting beat up for a little while, who knows,” said Henderson. “I’m definitely planning on seeing what he really is made of.”

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  • Booker T

    yada yada yada Just trying to sell a fight nobody asked for. Should be Jones vs Silva.

    • ThePilot

      I agree, but it’s hard enough getting Silva to fight guys in his division never mind someone from another.

      • Lesnardo

        185lb division is weak compared to 205.

        Real men fight at HW.

        • MaritalArtist


        • GiovanniB

          You’re a f-ucking retard Lesnardo. So HW’s are the real men? What are you then, a f-aggot!!!??? I bet you’re a f-ucking kiddo with a nick name like that you’re probably a fly weight. That’s the most f-ucking ignorant post I’ve ever read. Real men fight at HW…LOL..Moron!!! Go f-uck a goat!

      • gnodeb

        Is there anybody who should fight AS but he can’t because AS doesn’t want to? I think he fought everybody UFC put in front of him.
        Don’t say Weidman, because UFC never asked for that fight (DW said it himself).

    • dathump

      yada yada yada, I am sick of people saying Silva should move up, or Jones should move up and face JDS, Its not like either of them jumped weight classes looking for a title they could win. They domenated their division and got to the top. Its their job to stay there, and it’s up to their challengers to take it away. Its not like their devision were considered weak before they arrived. LHW had the likes of rampage, rua , machida, liddel, ortiz, wandi, couture, franklin, and they jones walked through 1/2 of them unscaved. Give it time and someone will step up, if not so be it. they earned it.

  • Silva already fought and stopped James Irvin and Forrest Griffin at LHW. He’s undefeated in the UFC and has almost every record, Jones is still new and has to fight Hendo and Machida who both earned their title shots. I don’t understand why fans over look Hendo and don’t care for this fight. It’s so disrespectful to Hendo and the sport itself.

  • gnodeb

    I’m a fan of Hendo, but let’s be real here. Why did Hendo got this shot? Was it because his SF LHW title? I don’t think so, SF doesn’t have that division at all. Is it because of his performance in UFC LHW division. I don’t think so, he has only one (recent) win there.
    I’m a fan, I do think Hendo will put a great fight, he has his chances, but seriously… even if he pull a win it is going to be a “Sera vs GSP” kind of win… the win he can not repeat… JJ is a huge favorite…

    • Ememay

      Hendo got this shot because he beat Fedor, and then he beat Shogun in a classic war. And the UFC LHW division has nobody else right now that hasn’t already had their shot. Hendo deserves this absolutely.

      “JJ is a huge favorite”. Thank you, Captain Obvious. It’s SO easy to root for a dominant champion.

  • zap

    Seriously guys?? Its freakin Dan Henderson. He has an extremely good chance at beating Jones. Durable as hell, Olympic wrestler, KO power. I think Jones will win, but he will get tested in the process. This will not be a walk in the park like we are used to seeing. Hendo got his shot much like Randy used to. Not so much what he has done lately, but by who he is and what he has done in his career. Legend.

    • MaritalArtist

      What do you mean “lately”? He hasn’t lost in a while.

  • robbyed

    I like hendo but i really dont see how he can win this fight, jones has that reach thatbhe can just put his hand out and you cant even kickhim,, then add in that he knows how to use his size advantage and henderson isnt going to get past 3rds, if it even makes it there. Hendo got mounted and controlled by shields at 185, then shogun mounted him 8 times or something like that, and jones is much bettrr than either of them in wrestling, i still think jones should fighting dos santos, because they both walk around the same weight, and jones would still have the reach advantage but the size would be closer

    • MaritalArtist

      I like the idea of that fight, and you know jds would be licking his chops. I think Dan will last 4 rounds like last time, but this fight might be over on the first 2 or 3 rounds. All it takes is one takedown by bones and some solid GnP, or a couple well placed strikes by either jones or hendo. Should be an exciting fight, despite what the oddsmakers say. If hendo wins, it won’t be the first time he wins as an underdog.

  • kaldani15

    Anyone who thinks this fight is going to be easy for jones is wrong. Jones could’ve lost to rampage if he let his hands go. Henderson wont stutter like rampage or rashad, Henderson will throw to kill the target in front of him. Hendo is a legend are we forgetting he fought big nog 3 times, he beat gilbert yvel those are HW not LHW. Hendo brutally KO wanderlai silva, he beat shogun and shogun’s brother. He beat vitor and he was the first person to knock fedor out cold. Counting Hendo out of this fight is totally disrespectful for a legend in this sport.

    • shakejunt

      Quit trying to legitimize your fighter’s chances with some “respect your elders” type defense, it’s rather stale.

      • bjjjay

        It’s not respect your elders, its respect the killer, and dan henderson is a killer

        • zap


  • dgs

    “As invincible as Jones has looked, the one part of his game that hardly anyone has seen is his ability to get out of bad situations, and how he reacts to being hurt or in serious trouble during a fight.”

    That right there in a nutshell is a huge question mark regarding Jones. Machida came closest to testing that unknown, but I’m really hoping to see Jones get tested by Henderson. A true champion works through adversity and figures out how to win when things are not going his way. Anderson Silva demonstrated this ability when he got pounded on for five rounds by Sonnen, and remained calm, composed, and patient, thus enabling him to pull out the win.

    However, if Jones continues to be so dominant in the ring, I guess there won’t be a need to see how he does when he’s in real trouble.