For nearly 15 years, Dan Henderson has been champion or contender in MMA.
Starting in 1998 with a UFC tournament capped off with a victory over Carlos Newton, Henderson has remained a relevant name longer than almost any champion in the sport’s history but rarely does he get mentioned along with the ‘all-time greats’.
Routinely, names like Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko and Georges St-Pierre are tossed around in terms of the greatest fighters to ever compete in the sport, but somehow Henderson’s name isn’t mentioned and that’s a shame according to UFC President Dana White.
“There’s no doubt about it Dan Henderson is probably one of the most overlooked fighters and underrated fighters in the sport today,” White told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday.
Henderson has captured titles in multiple weight classes, has wins over some of the biggest names in the history of the UFC, Pride and Strikeforce, and has quietly amassed one of the most impressive resumes for any fighter to ever put on gloves and step in the ring.
White is quick to point out just how good Dan Henderson really is as a fighter, and believes he should be mentioned alongside those previously mentioned names as one of the greatest pound-for-pound competitors in MMA history.
“I do think that’s crazy. Dan Henderson has been around forever, he’s fought the who’s who, I mean this guy fought Carlos Newton. He’s been around forever and he’s fought everybody, at every weight class, and he’s one of these guys that will always step up and take a fight no matter who it is. If you look at his skill sets, he’s got an iron chin, never been knocked out, he’s a great wrestler and he’s got knockout power in both hands. I just don’t know how you discount this guy,” said White.
“He continues to impress no matter how old he gets.”
Beyond capturing a UFC title early in his career, Henderson has also managed to claim the Pride welterweight and middleweight titles, the Strikeforce light heavyweight belt and also holds wins at heavyweight over two legends in Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Couple that with multiple wins over former UFC, Pride and Strikeforce champions to his credit and Dan Henderson might just have an argument to be considered as one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the sport of MMA.
It’s not something that concerns Henderson however because the way he looks at it, he’s still got some time left in fighting and it’s up to the critics and fans to decide where he fits in the ‘all-time’ category.
“It’s never a bad thing to hear. It’s not something I think about a whole lot. That’s not up to me to decide I guess. I know in my own mind I’m happy with my career, I feel that I’ve accomplished a lot, and I still have things that I want to do in the sport. I kind of look forwards right now instead of backwards,” Henderson said when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“I don’t really care too much about it at this point. I’m sure at some point I will, but right now I have a goal that I want to accomplish, and it’s sitting right in front of me. That’s what I’m focused on, that’s what I care about.”
One thing that is guaranteed however is when Henderson finally does near the end of his career, he will have a place in the UFC Hall of Fame.
“Whether Dan Henderson wins or loses, he’s a Hall of Famer,” UFC President Dana White commented.
Henderson may have his UFC Hall of Fame slot already secured, but just to make sure he’ll try add another title to his resume on Sept 1 when he faces Jon Jones at UFC 151.
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