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Dan Henderson makes retirement guarantee, talks future as a pro fighter

dan henderson
dan henderson

If mixed martial arts (MMA) fans know anything about the current state of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) affairs, it's that things can change.

And change quickly.

Just ask Dan Henderson, who, in a matter of days, went from having the opportunity to play spoiler to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, to being on the sideline with a knee injury, maligned by some as part of the reason there will no longer be a UFC 151 event.

It's not his fault. Not totally, anyway. Sure, he could have revealed his ailment earlier, and that could have very feasibly made a real difference in how this whole train wreck played out.

But, it's not like this was the scenario he was hoping for. No top notch competitor wants to bow out of a big time fight. Unfortunately, the tear in "Hendo's" MCL left him with no other option than to do just that.

By now, everyone knows there's no chance of him fighting Jon Jones, next weekend, but what about ever again?

Henderson appeared on AXS TV's "Inside MMA," to discuss his future. In the interview with co-anchors Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice, "Dangerous Dan" started off by detailing the specifics of the injury that forced him out of the fight with "Bones," as well as his recovery time frame:

"I had a slight tear in my MCL, and it was real unstable. No surgery is needed, luckily, but I just gotta immobilize and ice it for three or four weeks, then I'll start rehabbing a little bit. They said I'll hopefully be 100 percent in three to four months."

When asked about the drama surrounding the main event he was formerly slated to be a part of, Henderson expressed his disappointment.

It was never his intention to cause an event to be cancelled, and he was sure he'd be fighting, up until a few days before the announcement was made. He also was just as surprised as everyone that Jones declined the fight versus Chael Sonnen:

"They did find an opponent, but I guess it was one he didn't wanna fight. It's a shame the whole card had to be scrapped because of that. It's an injury that I honestly thought I'd be able to work through and fight a little bit injured. I may not have been one hundred percent, but I thought I'd be close. After a couple of weeks of trying to push through it, it was apparent that I wouldn't even be close to a hundred percent."

Many have asked if Henderson would still be guaranteed a title shot, after he finally rehabs from his injury and is back to normal.

His guess is as good as yours, but he certainly hopes that he'll still be "in the mix:"

"I don't know, and I didn't even ask, when I was making my decision, if I was gonna be able to fight or not. I didn't ask what was gonna happen if I didn't take the fight. It wasn't gonna be a part of my decision process -- if I was gonna be able to fight the winner or get that fight right back, if I didn't fight. I made sure I made my decision for the right reasons. I still don't know what's gonna happen. I can only hope that I'm still in line for that title shot."

That's the long term. In the short term, Henderson wants to make it clear to his critics that they can stop funeral procession, at least for now. Specifically, Henderson was asked if he can guarantee that he will not be retiring, as well as that he'll be back before the end of the year.

You bet:

"I can guarantee both of those. I'd like to shoot for that December 29th show, and I'm pretty sure I'd be ready to go by then. I can guarantee that I will day. I don't know when."

In the meantime, Henderson plans on taking it easy. He doesn't have anything else going on this weekend, so he's considering using his newly acquired free time to blow off some steam:

"I can play with my kids with a little more energy. That, and I might take a vacation, next weekend, since I was planning on going somewhere anyway. Might as well do something. I'm not sure what, yet."

Got any ideas for Dan "The Family Man" Henderson?

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