Joseph Henle Hasn’t Arrived Until He Has UFC Championship Around His Waist

March 15, 2013

Joseph HenleNot only did former TUF cast member Joseph “Leonidas” Henle suffer the first loss of his career last October to Elvis Mutapcic, he also exited the fight with a damaged hand and knee.

The funny thing, as Henle puts it, up until that point, he feels he was getting the better of Mutapcic.

“Other than getting dropped in the first round, everybody was pretty sure I won the second round, and I was winning the third round,” said Henle. “What people don’t realize is that 30 seconds into the third round I broke my hand before I blew out my knee.

“Until then I was touching him up and I had him bloody. I’m anxious to get back in there and show everybody what I can do.”

Henle’s eagerness to return led him to hiring a strength-and-conditioning coach, and that decision has paid dividends in more ways than one.

“It was more or less to strengthen the knee back up to start and then it was to build up a little more explosiveness,” said Henle. “So far it’s worked out really great.

“I’ve built up a lot of muscle and feel a bit like the younger me where I was bigger, had more muscle and was more of a bully like I am now in training. I’m not being passive, I’m being more aggressive and it’s working well.”

Following nearly five months off, Henle is due to return to fighting Friday night at BAMMA USA: Badbeat 8 in Commerce, Calif., against Miguel Cosio.

“How I approach most of my fights is not necessarily gameplanning against something specific because I feel if I get to implement what I’m going to do, their gameplan is going to change anyway,” Henle said.

“He’s a tall, like six-foot-four, is a big kicker who likes to blast his kicks. I think it will actually be a good test to my mental state of mind to somebody attacking the knee, because I’m sure that’s what he’s going to go for. In that aspect I feel it’s going to be a very good test for me.”

While Cosio is largely unheralded with a 1-10 record, Henle told that he’s not going to overlook his opponent Friday night.

“It’s one of those things where anybody can catch you, so I’m definitely not overlooking Miguel,” said Henle. “Yeah, his record’s bad, but that doesn’t mean he’s not in there fighting hard or that he can’t catch you; he just hasn’t yet.”

Regardless of opponent, Henle feels he always has something to prove and won’t be remotely satisfied until he reaches his final goal.

“I don’t think I’m as good as I’ve been told that I can be,” he said. “That’s not me trying to get people to say it more; to me it’s more an honest assessment of my skills. I’m good, but I can be much better. And until I have a UFC championship around my waist, there’s always room for improvement.”