MENU
#UFC Fight Night 117 #UFC Fight Night 52 #Jessica Andrade #Claudia Gadelha #Gokhan Saki #Conor McGregor #Ovince St. Preux #UFC Fight Night 83


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.

Galleries

Dan Henderson Fights

  • a year ago
  • 2202 views

Comments

Show Comments

Related News

Photo: Conor McGregor Jr.'s face tells the story of his papa's TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather

  • 25 days ago
  • 39 views

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that could apply to an image of Conor McGregor’s new baby snapped at ringside Saturday night.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC read news >>

After feeling it first-hand, Floyd Mayweather gives his verdict on Conor McGregor's dreaded power

  • 25 days ago
  • 1420 views

After his TKO win over Conor McGregor on Saturday, Floyd Mayweather addressed the ‘rabbit punches’ thrown by the UFC champ and his own after-the-bell push.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Jose Aldo: No moral victory for Conor McGregor in TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather

  • 21 days ago
  • 386 views

Jose Aldo says he didn’t even watch “The Money Fight” but wasn’t surprised – or impressed – when he heard about how it ended.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

UFC-Rotterdam results: Marion Reneau batters Talita Oliveira for late 3rd-round TKO

  • 20 days ago
  • 19 views

Marion Reneau found herself in some tough situations but eventually blasted away with punches from top position to earn a TKO win late.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Twitter reacts to Alexander Volkov's TKO of Stefan Struve at UFC-Rotterdam

  • 20 days ago
  • 14 views

See how Twitter reacted to Alexander Volkov’s TKO of Stefan Struve in the UFC Fight Night 115 main event.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>

Stefan Struve on Instagram after UFC-Rotterdam TKO loss: 'Sometimes you get hammered'

  • 20 days ago
  • 9 views

Stefan Struve appears to be handling a devastating loss in front of his home country about as well as one could. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Alexander Volkov's win gives the UFC something it needs – a new, young heavyweight contender

  • 20 days ago
  • 11 views

With Alexander Volkov’s third-round TKO win over Stefan Struve at UFC Fight Night 115, the UFC has a new heavyweight contender to work with. Even better, this one happens to have been born within the read news >>

Reebok didn't flub Demetrious Johnson's T-shirt; UFC champ plans on changing his nickname

  • 18 days ago
  • 9 views

It looked like the UFC’s official apparel partner flubbed again with Demetrious Johnson’s nickname. Not so, says “Mighty Mouse” (for now).Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UF read news >>

Maycee Barber 'Confident in Every Aspect of Her Game' Headed into LFA 22 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 17 days ago
  • 7 views

Maycee Barber (1-0) will look to further live up to her potential when she returns to LFA on Friday to take on Malory Martin (1-1). read news >>

For What It's Worth, UFC 215 Finds Demetrious Johnson on Cusp of History

  • 15 days ago
  • 3 views

Provided he defeats Ray Borg on Saturday in the main event of UFC 215, Demetrious Johnson will finally break Anderson Silva's longstanding record for consecutive UFC title defenses. This milestone ob read news >>