“Hendo” on UFN 32 Loss: “I Just Got Caught”, “I’m Definitely Not Done”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Prior to his stoppage loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 32 last night, Dan Henderson made it clear that he had no intentions of hanging up the gloves, even if he incurred his third straight loss. This despite the fact the legendary fighter is 43 year’s old and is set to enter free agency.
Of course, if Henderson had defeated Belfort in Goiania, Brazil, Saturday, the post-fight narrative likely would have been tied to whether the decorated vet should return to middleweight. As by defeating the division’s #2 ranked fighter, Henderson would have been in a prime position to make another title run. As a result of his quick defeat, however, there is considerable post-fight speculation as to what the future holds for “Hendo.”
If there were some fans and pundits who believed Henderson might change his tune about retiring, provided he incurred a one sided loss, the fighter certainly doesn’t appear to be even remotely leaning that way. In his post fight interview with FOX Sports, the 29-11 light-heavyweight stated:
“I’m definitely not done; I got caught tonight,” said Henderson. “I was ready to go for this fight and I just got caught. That happens I guess. After 16 years it’s bound to happen.”
While some critics could question what Henderson stands to gain at this stage of his career, there’s no denying that the Team Quest fighter has remained a competitive force at 205. Prior to facing Belfort, he was narrowly defeated by former champs Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida, and it wasn’t that long ago that Henderson defeated “Shogun” Rua by unanimous decision.
As Henderson alluded to, the fighter isn’t coming off a series of knockout losses, which would prompt concerns about his long term health. Belfort, in fact, became the first man in a 40 fight, 15 plus year carer to stop Henderson with strikes.
“My last three fights haven’t gone my way so I’m a little farther away from that belt, that title shot I had, so I’m just going to continue, to get back in there and win fights,” Henderson noted. “This one I definitely got caught, and got finished, but the last two could have easily went my way, and didn’t. So I’ve just had some unfortunate luck the last three fights. My body feels good and able to continue. Honestly I haven’t felt this good in a while. So it’s just a bad night tonight.”
So, now it remains to be seen if Henderson will remain with the UFC. Dana White relayed to the media after the event that he plans to meet with Henderson, and added that he’s not surprised to hear that the decorated fighter wants to fight again.
Although Henderson can’t command the same level of compensation that he used to, one would think that the aging star will be back with the UFC for a couple of more fights. The end of his storied career may be closer today than yesterday, but it doesn’t appear to be here yet.