SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Dan Henderson attends the UFC 139 pre-fight press conference at the Fort Mason Center on November 17, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
In a career that spans more than 15 years, "Hendo" has put his time in the sport of MMA, participating all over the world with top organizations such as Pride FC and Strikeforce, earning world titles with both promotions. After failing to win gold in the UFC against Quinton Jackson at 205-pounds and Anderson Silva at Middleweight, the window of opportunity is closing little by little in his chance of capturing the elusive UFC world title.
After all, the former Olympic wrestler is no spring chicken.
After recently stating that he will probably "fight for three more years," and "voicing his displeasure of being passed over for a title fight against Jon Jones," Henderson might be thrilled to hear that UFC President Dana White has confirmed that he will indeed be the next challenger for either the 205-pound title or the promotion's 185-pound strap, because he has earned it.
"Yes, Dan Henderson will get the winner of that fight (Jones vs. Evans) or the winner of the Anderson Silva fight. Dan Henderson just wants a title shot. You know, there was a lot of talk about the stuff I said. Here is the thing. I offered Dan Henderson two fights. Dan Henderson wants this fight. Normally I don't do that. Guys don't sit around and wait and pick their fights. There's been very specific cases where that has happened and it's guys who have earned it or deserved it. Dan Henderson is one of those guys. Listen, Henderson has been around forever. He is forty-something years old. He has been knocking guys out left and right and if he wants to sit around and wait for this title shot, he can do it."
"Dangerous Dan" will turn 42 this fall, though his recent victories would indicate that this MMA legend has not lost a step.
Sure, he was visibly gassed in his epic bout against the much younger Mauricio Rua at UFC 139 last November, but his dominating knockout victories over Fedor Emelianenko, Rafael Cavalcante and Renato Sobral prior, gave glimpses of a fighter that was barely hitting his stride.
After receiving White's approval to sit around and wait for the title shot, "Hendo" can now rest easy knowing that he will have at least one more try to add a UFC world title to his mantle of impressive accomplishments.
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans will tangle for the 205-pound title at UFC 145 on April 21, 2012, in Atlanta, Ga., while Chael Sonnen will try to once again rip the 185-pound title from the hands of Anderson Silva at UFC 147 on June 23, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Anyone care to venture a guess as to which world title Henderson will fight for his next time out? Better yet, which challenge will prove more difficult for the MMA legend?