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Thursday, Feb 21, 2013

MMA Legend Dan Henderson Says Rousey vs. Carmouche Is Just Another Card, Plans To Keep Winning, Beginning With Lyoto Machida

MMA legend Dan Henderson Photo credit: Esther Lin/Strikeforce

“It’s just another card,” Henderson said. “I have fought on a lot of big cards.”

By Joshua Molina

UFC, Pride and Strikeforce legend Dan Henderson will walk into the cage inside the Honda Center Saturday night, during one of the most storied, classic runs in MMA history, to fight underneath a fighter with six professional fights to her name.

“I am thankful to do less media,” said Henderson bluntly.

Henderson, 42, will fight Lyoto Machida in a three-round fight.   The two superstars will take a backseat to Ronda Rousey, the undefeated first UFC women’s champion, who headlines the card against Liz Carmouche.

The show has sparked tons of media, local and national, and Rousey has emerged as the biggest MMA mainstream star since the likes of Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. At the rate she is going, she will surpass them and become the biggest MMA star of all-time, in terms of spectacle.

Henderson, despite the drama over his placement on the historic card and hype around the women’s main event, isn’t that impressed.

“It’s just another card,” Henderson said. “I have fought on a lot of big cards.”

Henderson (left) KO'd old rival Babalu Sobral (right) in their 2010 rematch in Strikeforce.

He expects Rousey and Carmouche to entertain.

“They do their job,” Henderson said. “They fight hard. They are entertaining.”

Henderson said he has blinders on and is only focused on the dangerous Machida. He’s prepared to go three rounds, but hopes he doesn’t have to.

“He’s a tough guy,” Henderson said. “I plan on pushing the pace and putting pressure on him. I have to stick to a game plan”

You could say that Henderson hasn’t “lost” a fight since 2008, when he tapped out to Anderson Silva.  In the last five years, Henderson has beaten the likes of the great Fedor Emelianenko, Michael Bisping, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Shogun Rua, in one of the greatest bouts of all-time.

His only blemish was a fight he should have won.  He crushed Jake Shields with a right hand in a Strikeforce main event that aired live, in primetime on CBS, but allowed Shields to recover. Shields, in his typical style, held Henderson down the rest of the fight, and went on to earn a decision victory.

Henderson fought his way back up to a title shot against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, but pulled out a week before because of a knee injury.  That was last September. Henderson hasn’t fought since Nov. 19, 2011.

To get back to Jones one day, Henderson must first go through Machida.

“He’s going to be a challenge,” Henderson said. “Machida is dangerous.”

Henderson said he hasn’t spoken to UFC President Dana White about whether he gets a title shot if he beats Machida. In the meantime, he plans to keep winning.

“I want to fight three times this year,” Henderson said. “If I get a title shot next year, that’s great. I am going to keep winning. I am not done yet. I plan on making it happen on Saturday night.”

posted by JoshuaM @ 2:31 pm
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