When it’s all said and done, Dan Henderson will be in the UFC Hall of Fame and go down as one of the pioneers in the sport. He’s one of my favorites in the sport and has represented my country, the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics. There have never been any incidents with “Hendo” outside of the Octagon or ring and he shows the upmost respect for others.
That being said, I think he should of hung it up after his war with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2011; but here we are five fights later, going 1-3 in his last four. He was almost finished by Shogun in their rematch, but one of his overhand rights, or “H-bombs,” caught Shogun and he was able to finish the Brazilian 2 months ago.
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Fast forward to today, where he’s taking on Daniel Cormier (another former Olympic wrestler) and I think it’s a fight Hendo’s in deep water for. Ultimately, this fight with “DC” may end Henderson’s illustrious career. Here’s why.
5. Size counts for something: Cormier has fought big guys his whole career (ex-cept for his last fight, his first at 205), where he walked through UFC newcomer Patrick Cummins. Henderson weighed in at 199 pounds, 6 below the light heavyweight limit. Cormier will be the bigger guy tomorrow, and that will matter against two guys that are similar — both wrestlers with knockout power.
4. Testosterone Replacement Therapy: TRT has been banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in every case, so no more exemption for Henderson, who had been using it and will turn 44 this summer. With his testosterone levels lowered from age, guess who will be more explosive — the 35-year-old or the one a few years shy of 50?
3. Age does matter: Okay, so we’ve established that TRT helps those that are older by boosting the body’s natural productive process of testosterone, but age will also slow a person down. Henderson’s reflexes have slowed over the years, and for many fighters that start to age, they say the mind wants the body to react, but the body doesn’t necessarily do that. It’s not a lack of skill, it’s just a part of life. We all get older, even the young fighter today will face the same fate as his elders. Cormier is in his prime, not good for Hendo who has seen his best days behind him.
2. Train with the best: Cormier trains with the best heavyweight and wrestler in mixed martial arts — UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The two push each other to their limits, making the other better. Henderson has good training and teammates at Team Quest, but not the best. Cormier will be too much for ol’ Dan and I don’t think it’ll even be close.
1. It’s time…: Henderson has always had a low, scruffy voice, but now some of his words are hard to understand and can sound garbled, ala many boxers that have been punched many times, and at the end of their careers. Cormier is looking to become the UFC light heavyweight champion and is hungry for it. Even with the great sportsmanship between the two, I can’t see “DC” taking his foot off the gas pedal. I don’t think this fight will be pretty and see Henderson being finished by Cormier, and maybe retiring him from his great career.
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