Photo by Esther Lin/MMA Fighting.
"[My right hand] must be a pretty good trick. It's kept me in the sport this long and people keep wanting to see it. It's kept me around for a long time. But it's more about positioning. TKO me? I'd love for him to try. That means he's coming after me and I won't have to chase him.... One of the biggest assets I have is my experience, my timing, my striking, my takedowns and the ability to mix it up.... I love being the underdog. I like being a little challenged. I need to step up and prove people wrong. It adds to my fire and motivates me.... I feel right at home when I'm wrestling. He's taller and longer and gives problems in the clinch. But it'll give me the opportunity to put him on his back."
-- In 37 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) matches, in a legendary career that dates back to 1997, UFC 151's Dan Henderson has never been stopped via strikes. He's got just three submission and five decision defeats on his ledger, which means that the window of opportunity to change the 41-year-old's stat line is closing quick. His trademark square jaw has been battle-tested and, to date, has passed with flying colors. However, it has yet to absorb the dynamic strikes of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, a 25-year-old phenom who has ripped through a Murderer's Row of former champions to claim his rightful spot atop the 205-pound heap. In fact, Jones' name has already entered into "Greatest of All Time" (GOAT) conversations after an unprecedented 18-month stretch that saw him win the belt and then successfully defend four times against the best the division has to offer. The only thing missing, for now, at least, appears to be a win over Henderson -- the only viable contender not etched into his whoop ass stick (sorry Lyoto Machida, you had your chance). And a sensational finish of "Hendo" would not only appear to be par for the course, but add even more mystique to his own growing legend. Henderson's recent comments on "UFC Tonight" suggest that he welcomes Jones' chin checks on Labor Day weekend, but there's no telling whether or not "Bones" -- a student od the sport who always walks into the Octagon prepared -- is willing to take the bait.