You hear a lot of statements from fighters with many of them saying that their ultimate goal is to win a world title. But what about a fighter who already has a wall full of them?
For Dan Henderson as he enters his fight against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at Strikeforce in Ohio, while the title belt is nice, he’s only concerned with facing the biggest and the best. It’s just a good bonus that the best usually have a title around their waist.
“It’s nice that there’s a belt on the line, but Feijao’s definitely beat the top guys, that’s why he’s there, and those are the guys that typically have the belt,” Henderson told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
Henderson bounced back from a lackluster Strikeforce debut against Jake Shields to drop the hammer on Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Now he goes into a title fight at 205lbs against a striking machine from Brazil in Rafael Feijao.
“He goes out there to fight, he goes out there to finish fights, and it makes it exciting,” Henderson said. “It makes it exciting for me to be able to go out there and be able to make sure and know that it’s going to be a good fight.”
Henderson watched Feijao’s last fight with interest knowing that one day he may square off against the now Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. To win the belt, Feijao had to go through Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, which was no easy task, but he blasted through him, and handed Lawal his first career loss and took the belt home to boot.
“I felt like he did a pretty good job defending the takedowns, and I felt like Mo might have won one of those rounds, and he did a great job of coming back and catching Mo with some nice knees. Mo didn’t set up his takedowns all that great,” Henderson commented about the fight.
While both Lawal and Henderson are wrestlers, their styles are polar opposites. Henderson is a clinch fighter who works for his takedowns from there, and is known for having one of the deadliest right hands in the business.
Henderson prepared for the fight with Team Quest as he always does, but even had some new faces including Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman, who provided some of the best sparring the Temecula, Calif. resident could have had going into this fight.
As the former Pride champion gets ready to fight for yet another belt, people are still asking him if he has a timeline on when he wants to walk away from the sport or how many fights he has left.
Much like with the questions that always come up regarding his weight class, Henderson just says watch and see.
“I never make predictions as far as my weight class goes cause you never know what match-ups will be out there at the time, and what the fans want to see. I’m down for cutting a little weight if the fans want to see a match-up down there as well,” Henderson said.
“I’m content just fighting the top guys out there and winning.”
What Henderson will make a prediction on are his results in Ohio for his fight with Feijao. The last time Henderson fought in the Buckeye state he took on UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and after winning the first round, he was choked out in the second.
He’s hoping Ohio is a little better to him this time around.
“I’m excited to go back there and win this time,” Henderson said in closing.