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MMA legend Dan Henderson is 'almost ready' to retire, pending UFC contract negotiations

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Henderson is a mixed martial arts (MMA) legend.

Despite never winning a Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title, he's widely considered one of the most accomplished fighters of all-time. Chalk that up to his world championships in Pride and Strikeforce, as well as capturing knockout finishes over Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, and Mauricio Rua.

But regardless of his defining career moments, the 45-year-old has begun his inevitable decline in the sport. After all, "Hendo" has been competing in MMA since 1997. That includes 45 fights, three knockout defeats, and countless bloody wars.

Currently scheduled to take on Cuban powerhouse Hector Lombard at UFC 199 on June 4, Henderson believes he's closer than ever to actually stepping away from the Octagon for good.

"I’m definitely capable of keeping on and still competing at a high level, but I’m almost ready to retire, and depending on how things play out after this fight with negotiations, yeah, it could be my last," said Henderson in a recent interview with MMAjunkie Radio. "Or maybe I’ll still fight. I don’t know yet. I’m at that point where I’m about ready, but definitely, I know in my heart I’m still capable of doing it and if I do decide to keep going on I’ll make sure I do it well."

Remember, Henderson was originally slated to fight Lyoto Machida in a rematch at UFC on FOX 19 back on April 16, but "The Dragon" was pulled from the card for a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation. Instead, Henderson will fight a Welterweight defector who has recorded 19 career knockouts (four more than Henderson).

"Instead of fighting a guy that runs all the time I got a guy that runs at you the whole time – at least for the first few minutes," added Henderson. "It’s a totally different style, just a completely different fighter I’m training for. It is what it is I think it’s – the fight with Hector Lombard is definitely something the fans will enjoy more than watching Machida run around the whole time."

UFC 199 will be headlined by a Middleweight title fight between champion Luke Rockhold and fill-in Michael Bisping.

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