Because "Hendo" has been around the block a few times and has seen his share of "next big things."
Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, who left his belt in San Jose to re-sign with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), will make his Octagon return against former 205-pound titleholder Mauricio Rua at the UFC 139: "Shogun vs. Henderson" event this Saturday night (Nov. 19, 2011) on pay-per-view.
And if he's able to successfully unload "Shogun," he's ready for a fight against reigning division champion Jon Jones, who must first get past Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 on Dec. 10 in Toronto, Canada.
The "H-Bomb" detonates at MMA Weekly:
"I do think that would be a fight I would enjoy. He’s awkward and unorthodox and it creates something to think about and how to beat that, and that’s what excites me these days. Guys that are a big challenge, and he would be more cause he’s awkward and dangerous at the same time, but I think he matches up really well with me style wise. I’m not one to buy into things too quickly. I’ve been doing this for a long time and seen a lot of guys beat a lot of tough guys really quick and then die out. I think he’s going to be around a long time, he’s just going to get better. But at this point he’s still got a lot to improve on, and he’s athletic and talented and he does learn. He’s got a huge future, but I think he’s got a little ways to go."
After back-to-back title losses to Quinton Jackson and Anderson Silva in his 2007 return to the UFC, Henderson reeled off three consecutive wins, including a thunderous knockout over Michael Bisping to secure what many believed to be another 185-pound title shot.
It never came.
The former Olympian bolted for San Jose and may, at long last, come full circle after a stellar 3-1 run with Strikeforce, including a July 30 destruction of former heavyweight "Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko.
In fact, the former PRIDE champion is 6-1 over the past three years, his only blemish caused by a middleweight mugging from Jake Shields in early 2010 -- one that saw Henderson struggle with his 185-pound weight cut.
He's never looked better -- but are you ready to buy into the Hendo hype? Or is he going to find out why no one is able to break "Bones" the hard way? Anyone think "Shogun" will keep us from ever finding out?
For more on UFC 139: "Henderson vs. Shogun" click here.