Dan Henderson was in Denver this past weekend and witnessed Jon Jones’ destruction of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson first-hand. Word is that if the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ gets past Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139, he’ll be in line right after Rashad Evans for a crack at “Bones.”
If that is indeed the case, the 41-year-old looks forward to the challenge of taming the skyrocketing superstar.
“I would love to match myself up with him one of these days, whether it’s for the belt or not,” Henderson said of Jones in his video blog. “He’s one of the awkward fighters that makes it funner to fight, makes it funner of a challenger. It’s not the same type of challenge.
“He has some different tools that he uses and it’s always funner to figure out how to beat him.”
Quick, someone tell Hendo that ‘funner’ isn’t a word. In any event, Henderson’s return to the major leagues is far from a cakewalk. A healthy and motivated Shogun is as dangerous of an opponent as they come, as witnessed by his shellacking of Forrest Griffin at UFC 134. Henderson is well aware of the Brazilian’s game, yet appears unfazed.
“Shogun is a tough fighter,” Henderson expressed. “He’s been around a long time. He’s been in there with some of the top guys and done well. He’s well rounded, throws some nice knees and some nice kicks. He’s got some power in his punches.
“With that being said, I think I’m better in every aspect than him and I should definitely do better than him in the fight. It is a five rounder, so I think I can wear Shogun out.”
A shootout with Shogun should prove to be a thrilling affair, but it wasn’t the matchup the company initially had in mind. Although a move to middleweight at this stage in his career isn’t ideal, Henderson was willing to drop 20 pounds for a shot at “The Spider’s” crown.
“They were wanting me to fight Anderson Silva my first fight back to the UFC,” Henderson said. “He’d be about the only guy I’d fight at 185.”
Silva revealed shortly after last month’s victory over Yushin Okami that he entered the scrap with an injured shoulder. That’s likely the reason he wasn’t able to meet Henderson.
UFC 139 takes place November 19th inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Henderson and Shogun will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.