For those UFC fans that aren’t in the know, Dan Henderson is one of the sport’s most talented and successful fighters. He is the only fighter to simultaneously hold two major title belts in two different weight classes, the 185-pound and 205-pound in PrideFC. Unfortunately for him, UFC fans only know him for losing his first two Octagon bouts, to current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
In addition, Henderson fought for the UFC in 1998 before he left to start a prosperous Japanese fighting career. Before his UFC 88 victory over Rousimar Palhares, it had been 10 years since Hendo’s last Octagon victory.
“Doesn’t feel bad, that’s for sure,” Henderson stated about ending his dry spell. “I haven’t had a win in the Octagon for 10 years, somebody brought that up to me today. So I guess it feels pretty good. Hopefully, I don’t wait that long again.”
It certainly wasn’t easy for the 38-year old to put an end to his UFC drought. In fact, the younger Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter took Henderson the distance. Because of Palhares’ craftiness on the ground, Henderson was well aware that he could easily get submitted. That’s why the former champion was going for the knock out.
“Definitely, I’d hope that would happen,” Henderson stated. “Could I predict that? Not really. Definitely I knew I could stand with him I knew I could beat him on the feet. But I was just going to take any opportunity that he gave me, whether it was a knock out, a submission, take down, it didn’t matter to me.”
It was obvious that the MMA veteran wanted no part of Palhares on the ground, separating from the grappler numerous times to get the fight back standing. Henderson had worked diligently on sharpening his stand up game for the fight, and wanted to show off his improved skills.
“I’ve been working with Trevor Whitman for a few years now. I’m able to spar with his pro boxers; it’s just another level,” Hendo said about his boxing coach. “Those guys introduced me to a whole another level. He just helped me tremendously, and I work with him 5 to 6 days a week and that’s why I’m getting better.”
Welcome back to the UFC Dan.