Opinion: Belfort’s UFN 32 Win Over Henderson an Impressive One
By Michael Hatamoto
Brazilian striker Vitor Belfort handed former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson the first KO/TKO loss of his career, brutally finishing the fight by head kick knockout.
Henderson immediately wanted to put pressure on Belfort and try to land his big right hand, but didn’t seem to have the speed necessary. Belfort landed a beautiful left uppercut as a counter to Henderson moving forward, then the Brazilian finished the fight with ground-and-pound.
Belfort picked up a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” award after winning the fight at just 1:17 of the first round.
Even though this fight was in the light-heavyweight division, it should fast track Belfort towards a possible title shot at middleweight.
It’s a shame that a fighter using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) – and has a prior positive steroid test – is so close to a title shot. I think a rematch with former middleweight champion Anderson Silva would still end in the same fashion, and I don’t think Belfort stands a chance against someone like Chris Weidman.
Meanwhile, it’s uncertain what the UFC plans to do with Henderson in 2014, because the old man isn’t ready to retire and is still competitive.
Henderson is 43 years old and has been involved in countless wars throughout his career – and picking up his first KO/TKO loss – I wonder how much he still has left in the gas tank. Not only has he lost three consecutive fights, but he looks to be slowing down with his striking.
Henderson might have the patented “H-Bomb,” but it’s a shame he seemingly refuses to use his Greco-Roman wrestling background to take down opponents. Instead, he is being matched up with opponents able to avoid his heavy hands and turn the fight into a more calculating battle.