Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Dan Henderson’s Great Run Lost in Ronda Rousey Hype
By Joshua Molina
Lost in the Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche hype is the fact that on the undercard of UFC 157, Dan Henderson will face his toughest fight since Anderson Silva five years ago.
Henderson was days away from one last UFC title shot against Jon Jones last year, but like a victory over Jake Shields, saw it slip from his grasp when he injured his knee.
Now he may never get it.
To get a shot at the gold, he must first go through Lyoto Machida on Feb. 23.
And that’s a fight that won’t be easy.
By fight standards, Henderson is old. He’s 42 years old. That’s FORTY-TWO years old. Machida is 34 years old.
Henderson is on an incredible tear. He’s won four straight, crushing Feijao, Renato Sobral and the great Fedor Emelianenko. He last won in a epic fight against Shogun Rua. But that fight was more than a year ago, Nov. 19, 2011.
We don’t know what that fight took out of Henderson. We do know that long, yearlong layoffs are never good, especially at his age.
The last thing to go for a fighter is his power. And that’s really all Henderson has left. He’s slower, tires easily and his once-great wrestling skills have weakened.
Time isn’t on his side.
Machida’s just needs to avoid Henderson’s bomb to win the fight. That’s not easy, but at leasy he knows what he is up against. Henderson must worry about Machida’s kicks, punches and speed.
Speed kills. And Henderson could be headed toward a wicked end.
If he can get by Machida, he will get his title shot against Jones or Chael Sonnen (Jones, let’s be real).
It would cap what would be an amazing 5-fight run.
As big as Rousey’s big moment in the Octagon will be, marking the arrival of women’s MMA, when Henderson steps into the cage, it could mark the end of a legend’s last, incredible run.