Dana White: Dan Henderson Waiting for Title Shot

March 8, 2012
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What’s next for Dan Henderson?

Many felt an all-out, five-round, epic with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 and returning to the Octagon as Strikeforce light heavyweight champion would put Hendo on the fast track to a UFC title shot against Jon Jones.

But now, four months later, he’s still in limbo, waiting for his next fight.

Jones was already tied up with a scheduled title defense against Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, which he won. He then had to honor a promised shot to former teammate Rashad Evans. The two will square off in April at UFC 145 in Atlanta.

Henderson, of course, doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines. He’s always been a fighter that excels when he stays busy.

Having long fought at the highest levels in both the light heavyweight and middleweight classes – and even stepping up to heavyweight on occasion – Henderson isn’t overly picky. He’ll take the shot at whoever holds the light heavyweight belt or the middleweight strap, at least according to UFC president Dana White.

“He wants a title fight. He either wants Anderson Silva or whoever has the belt at 185 or the winner of Evans and Jones,” White said at the recent UFC on Fox 3 press conference in New York City. “Last time I talked to Henderson, he wanted to wait to fight one of these guys for the title.”

Henderson held belts in two different weight classes during his Pride tenure, has worn the Strikeforce light heavyweight strap, and even won a UFC tournament in the company’s pre-Zuffa days, but he has yet to capture a modern-day UFC title.

Henderson failed in unifying the Pride 185 and 205-pound belts with then-UFC champions Anderson Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, respectively.

In the twilight years of his storied career, however – he is now 41 years of age – Henderson doesn’t need to face the flavor of the day. In short, he wants a title shot. He wants to add at least one UFC strap to his collection.

“He’ll fight whoever has that belt,” said White, musing on situation. “Dan doesn’t seem too picky, I think he would fight Chael Sonnen (if he won the belt from Silva).”

The likelihood is that he will get a shot at the winner of Jones and Evans. They’re fighting April 21, while Silva isn’t likely to defend his belt until June or July, with Sonnen slated as the opponent.

For now, however, if Henderson wants a title shot, he will have to wait on the sidelines for at least one of those fights to play out.

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  • phrankthetank

    As long as Hendo stays in fighting condition he could get a title shot sooner than later, if Evans gets hurt he can step up to fight jones, sonnen gets injured he can fight silva, or if silva stays injured he could fight sonnen for an interim strap. Either way, I understand him waiting for a shot. He’s 41. He can’t be Jon jones and fight 4 elite fighters a year.

  • Towers66

    I am happy he is going to wait. I want to see Hendo come out in title fight form at least one more time. I would rather see him fight Silva or Sonnen then the bigger fellas. Cant wait to see what happens.

  • adam1848

    I think Hendo has the Ken Flo curse and will always be number 2. I like the guy, but really the Shogun fight was the highlight of his career. I don’t think he won the Franklin fight, Bisping is an over-hyped chump, and Fedor was just waiting to fall. Hendo is old and has a small gas tank. I think Sonnen would be a great fight for him, but I think Jones and Silva will handle him easily, like Shields did. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve a title shot, but I’d be very surprised if he left with either belt. But if anybody has a punchers chance, its Dan Henderson.

    • collideoverme

      Obviously he doesn’t. He had two titles in Pride and one in Strikeforce. Hendo Just hasn’t gotten his UFC belt. I hope it’s against Jones.

      • adam1848

        I like Hendo too much to want to see what Jones will do to him. I imagine it will be much like what Jones did to Shogun. And Anderson has already choked him once, I’m sure he’ll be happy to do it again.

    • opposition13

      Um, I disagree with the comparison….Florian was done since the 1st time he stepped into the octagon….plus he is BORING to watch,,,

      • RubeKegal

        Florian boring to watch? whoever is opposition13, LAY OFF THE CRACK! KenFlo excited in his win over Guida, over Din Thomas, over Gomi, over Stevenson, Huerta, Lauzon. His fight against BJ was boring and same with Aldo. Other than that, to call him a boring fighter is assinine.

  • KBEsq

    Hendo will always have a “puncher’s chance” with his right hand, but I cannot see him with the belt at this point in either division. He doesn’t have the gas tank, and he does not react well to getting hit anymore.

    Even if Hendo somehow landed a right on Jones or Silva and won the belt, I think it would be a fluke and he would lose it immediately. Any top 5 LHW or MW who takes him into deep waters will most likely beat him. Plus, I think he has the potential for a Rampage style burn out. I think he may have found some new motivation of late, but when he went to Strikeforce, I think he was collecting a check. That will most likely come back when he faces some conflict.

    • opposition13

      Yes Doctor KBEsq,…..nad you are such an expert since when? Id like to see a picture of you license…

  • el gato

    I know deep down inside Bisping is terrified, but why not
    Hendo/Bisping 2. If Bisping would have beaten Sonnen, he would have got a shot at Anderson. He claims he won and lets face it, Hendo is in line and beat his ass the first time. In my opinion Bisping has to go through Hendo to get to Anderson. It would be a number one contender bout and win win for the fans. Everyone would love to see Bisping sleeping again, and if Bisping won he would get that shot at the title.

  • tmaisons

    He’s not great at MW he really needs to stay at LHW and fight Jones/Evans winner. He’ll have his “punchers chance” as a lot on some of these comments sections say but his gas tank is much better and he’s much more effective at LHW in general. I’m a huge Hendo fan and want to see him win but I think (as weird as it sounds) LHW is his best chance because that’s when he’s at his best.