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Dana White Says Win, Lose or Draw Dan Henderson is UFC Hall of Famer and All-Time Great

Posted on by Damon Martin

Dan Henderson at UFC 139For 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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  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    Doesn’t this mean then that the UFC Hall of Fame is really an MMA Hall of Fame? Because if you ONLY look at Henderson’s UFC performances, does he really rank as a Hall of Fame fighter? Isn’t it necessary to include what he did in Pride to make the argument?

    • atmosphere

      a few of Hendo’s accomplishments within the UFC:

      - won the UFC MW tourney
      - after UFC 151, he will have fought for 3 UFC titles, two of which unified the UFC with the PRIDE belts. That is, he was recognized as a champion, unlike the WEC belt holders
      - KO of the year (vs. Bisping)
      - FOTY (vs. Shogun)

      • Lesnardo

        UFC tourney was a joke back then.

        His PRIDE belt was a joke. He beat post-cro cop fight Wandy. Wandy has been downhill since the OWGP where he was destroyed.

        KOing Bisping = all time great?

        I would say Hendo is a great fighter for his recent accomplishments. He has been on a roll for the last year or so.

        • atmosphere

          well, since all UFC tourneys were “back then”, your statement must apply to all of them.

          why are you picking apart Wandy from 2007? the fact of the matter is that UFC and PRIDE were the top of the MMA food chain by leaps and bounds, and Hendo was both 205lb and 183lb champ.

          KOing Bisping != all time great, but Bisping is a top-tier fighter and was on the losing side of a KO of the year, which is what makes that moment great.

          Dan Severn, Royce Gracie, and Ken Shamrock (all UFC HOFers) were effective against a different caliber of fighters in the infancy of MMA. How did they compare to Hendo now and then?

          • Lesnardo

            I never said Hendo shouldn’t be inducted.

          • atmosphere

            backpedaling, are we?

            the question was, should Hendo be a UFC HOFer? i gave points as to why he should be and you refuted each and every one of them.

    • austinbarker

      Yes to all of your questions.

    • Lesnardo

      Or Dana’s Hall of Fame.

      Fedor will never be in the hall of fame since he has never fought in the UFC. Not sure if a hall with Tito but not Fedor is legit.

  • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

    Hendo belongs in the UFC Hall of Fame. As listed above Hendo has accomplished things in the UFC and in MMA in general. Legend of the sport in general not just under a specific banner. Hendor is hall of fame material no argument.

  • bjjjay

    This is great, Dan Henderson is a legend and this just makes it legit

  • mikemma123

    You will put him in it but you won’t put fedor smh.

    • Lesnardo

      THIS WHOLE UFC THING IS A JOKE. I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT DANA’S FAVORITE LIST OF BJS. I COULD CARE LESS IF ARIANNY OR BRITNEY IS SINGLE OR NOT. I COULD CARE LESS IF MARIO YAMASAKI OR HERB DEAN IS THE BEST UFC REFEREE. I COULD CARE LESS IF DANA OWNS 10% OF ZUFFA. I COULD CARE LESS IF LORENZO DEALS WITH THE REEM BUT DANA DOESN’T. I COULD CARE LESS IF THE RING IS AN OCTAGON OR SQUARE. I COULD CARE LESS IF MIKE BUFFER REPLACES BRUCE BUFFER. GOLDIE AND ROGAN ARE COOL BUT I DON’T CARE IF THEY ARE REPLACED SO LONG AS NO ONE ANNOYING IS THERE (LIKE BONNAR AND CHAEL).

      I WATCH THE UFC BECAUSE OF THE FIGHTERS. THE FIGHT COULD TAKE PLACE IN MY BACKYARD. I WOULD STILL PAY TO WATCH.

      • dathump

        yet your commenting on it, and in capital letters, so you must care. Right or wrong UFC is the largest MMA promoter. Zuffa owns UFC, SF, and the rights to Pride and WEC, so their HOF is their HOF and until there is a unification of all MMA promotions and a overseeing body for the sport in general, its all the fighters have. Don’t worry I am sure Fedor is in the M1 Global HOF and now that he retired Dana will forgive him and induct him based on his pride days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 liemianbresenio

    Dana, it was so savvy and cool of you to acknowledge one of the all time greats of this sport.

    HEY REMEMBER THAT TIME YOU SNUBBED HIM AND GAVE VITOR AN UNDESERVED TITLE SHOT?? THAT WAS AWESOME TOO.

    • Lesnardo

      OR THE TIME HE DISMISSED HENDO AS A MIDDLEWEIGHT WHEN HE BEAT WANDY AND DESTROYED DANA’S DREAM FIGHT BETWEEN CHUCK AND WANDY

      OR THE TIME HENDO ASKED FOR A LITTLE MORE MONEY AND HE KICKED HIM OUT

      OR THE TIME HENDO GOT BEAT BY SHIELDS IN SF IN THE COURSE OF TALKING DOWN ON SF AND TRYING TO COURT SHIELDS.

      DANA WHITE DEFINES THE WORD PR*CK.

  • austinbarker

    Being a member of the UFC HOF entails that you have fought in the UFC,at,some,point. Which mikemma is why Fedor is not a member.And it appears that a fighter’s entire body of work is a consideration as well. BUT the primary criteria is again, that you have fought in the UFC. Seems fair since it’s their HOF right? As far as Hendo goes, without a doubt he belongs there. I would like it better though if there was a 2yr retirement requirement before a fighter was elected into the HOF. Seems strange to have a HOF fighter still fighting. Maybe on cards they can have an occasional HOF fight, where two HOF fighters go at it. Additionally, they should have a Legends category. This would include fighters maybe who didn’t make the HOF, but enjoy a strong fan base and still have draw power. I like the concept.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 liemianbresenio

      Fought in the UFC

      Mask

      Pick one

  • austinbarker

    I like the acquisition of Strikeforce and it’s separate branding. Without it we wouldn’t have Ronda under the same umbrella. And with the huge draw she has, Dana needs to get her involved in the PPV. I would like to see another category created for the occasional women’s fight and anything slse that doesn’t fit the established categories. A good name for it would be Provisionary. Works for me.

  • hitman13

    Great. Were talking about a future hall of famer and next thing I see is get Rhonda on PPV? I think I’m gonna be sick.