dan-henderson-ufc-157It must be nice to have a right hand like Dan Henderson’s. It’s a Get Out of Jail Free card, a lottery ticket and a lucky rabbit foot all rolled into one. It allows you to do all the wrong things at the most inopportune times, and still you’ve got a chance to win.

It’s the kind of thing that might turn a lesser man lazy. For Henderson, the worst thing it does is keep him grinning with the same lingering, unreasonable hope. People keep trying to tell him that 43 is too old for a professional fighter. He keeps shrugging his shoulders as if, in theory, he might agree. That right hand, though. It has other thoughts on the situation.

You watch the first two rounds of Henderson’s  (30-11 MMA, 7-5 UFC) main event bout against Mauricio Rua (22-9 MMA, 6-7 UFC) at Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 38 event, and it’s hard to make the argument that he has any business winning this fight. His legs aren’t there. His wrestling is of the desperate, back-up plan variety. His leg kicks look like something he’s trying for the first time, and his footwork reminds you of a man trying in vain to pick a dry path through a muddy field.

No wonder he got dropped in the first. The fact that he remained conscious long enough to get dropped again in the second seemed like a minor miracle. Still it felt more like a stay of execution than a last-minute pardon.

Then came the third round and that right hand. What happened to “Shogun” Rua’s nose at about that time, well, I think we can all agree it was a damn shame.

What we might have a harder time agreeing on is what any of this means for Henderson, or even Rua, for that matter. With Henderson riding a three-fight losing streak coming into this fight, and Rua up and down like the Russian stock market, this rematch had taken on a just-for-the-hell-of-it vibe that was not at all unsatisfactory for a Sunday night event on cable TV.

It was a fight that promised to be fun, though likely not as fun as its predecessor. Then Henderson spent the first two rounds looking suddenly very old and the third round looking, at least in one brief flash, like his former self, and now we don’t know what to think.

Is “Hendo” back, in any meaningful sense of the word? No, not really. Without a fountain of youth and a sack of nickels to swing, there’s no good reason to think he’s got any real hope of making a run at the UFC light-heavyweight title, and that’s fine. What he can do is what he did on Sunday night in Brazil, which is show up to brawl, maybe take a few lumps on the head if necessary, then look for every opportunity to drop the H-bomb.

Surely there’s a place for that, especially in today’s UFC, which will soon be running a couple events a week plus a Saturday afternoon matinee. Henderson can pack them in on pure nostalgia value, not to mention the very real possibility that he might knock some guy’s nose into the back of his throat.

That’s what Henderson has got going for him these days: old-school toughness and knockout power, the prizefighter’s built-in mulligan. Those are also usually the last things to go for an aging fighter, which is cruel in its own way. The toughness keeps him from admitting any sort of lasting defeat, and the power gives him permanent hope that he’s only one swing away from being back on top.

A fighter like Henderson, he could go on for years this way. He has. He probably will, if given the chance.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 38, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

* * * *

Check out John Morgan’s instant analysis on UFC Fight Night 38:

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

If EA Sports is right, Cormier and Weidman get TKO wins at UFC 187

  • 7 days ago
  • 136 views

While you’ll have to wait till late tonight to find out who wins, EA Sports put its UFC game simulator to work to come up with predictions for the UFC 187 title fights.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Video: Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson free fight

  • 22 days ago
  • 10 views

Rewind to UFC Fight Night 32 to see Vitor Belfort's stunning KO of Dan Henderson. Before Vitor Belfort's championship showdown with Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 187 on May 23, the read news >>

UFC New Orleans Full Fight Flashback: Dan Henderson Finishes Shogun Rua

  • 2 days ago
  • 4 views

Fighting at light heavyweight, Dan "Hendo" Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua battled it out inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 38 in Natal, Brazil. read news >>

UFC 187 results: Donald Cerrone breaks John Makdessi's jaw with kick for TKO

  • 6 days ago
  • 44 views

LAS VEGAS – After nearly two full rounds of taking kicks, knees and punches to the head, John Makdessi could withstand no more of Donald Cerrone’s onslaught.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Ryan Bader off card, Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch headlines UFC New Orleans

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Ryan Bader will have to wait for his next fight. The UFC light heavyweight contender was slated to meet Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6 in New Orleans. But Cormier wa read news >>

The MMA Hour - 283 - Chris Weidman

  • 2 days ago
  • 4 views

Chris Weidman looked back at his successful middleweight title defense against Vitor Belfort. read news >>

Video: Watch UFC 187's Vitor Belfort crush Dan Henderson in 2013

  • 26 days ago
  • 15 views

After three consecutive knockout victories, Vitor Belfort is finally getting his long-awaited middleweight title shot. Check out the final performance that earned him the opportunity.Filed under: New read news >>

Three-time national wrestling champ Ed Ruth signs with Bellator

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

One of the MMA's most coveted prospects is headed to Bellator. Three-time national wrestling champion and four-time All-American Ed Ruth has signed a contract to compete in the promotion. The former read news >>

With Ryan Bader removed, Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch headlines UFC Fight Night 68

  • 25 days ago
  • 18 views

Ryan Bader has officially been removed from UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6 and originally scheduled co-main event between Dan Henderson and Tim Boetsch has been promoted to the top of the card. Filed u read news >>

After UFC 187 Loss, John Makdessi Undergoes Jaw Surgery, Ponders Future

  • 4 days ago
  • 5 views

John Makdessi, the lightweight fighter who lost by TKO to Donald Cerrone Saturday at UFC 187, underwent surgery to repair his fractured jaw, even as he wondered about his future as a fighter. Makdess read news >>

Trending News

Top News

Jump to: