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MMA UFC

UFC: Dan Henderson’s Time to Shine

Dan Henderson

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

What happens when you have a seriously grizzled veteran of the sport on the wrong side of two split decisions? You get a competitor with a serious chip on his shoulder.

Dan Henderson is walking into his fight with Vitor Belfort this Saturday on the wrong side of two very close split-decision losses. They came to the cream of the crop, the first one against Lyoto Machida, and the second one against Rashad Evans. What we as fans have failed to look at is: what does this mean exactly?

It was not too long ago that Henderson was set to fight Jon Jones for the title, but he pulled out of that fight with an injury and now finds himself in this position which can only mean one thing — Henderson is ready to prove himself and Dana White gave him Belfort to do it. And that is awesome.

Henderson could not have asked for a better opponent. Both of these guys have heavy hands and would much rather strike then wrestle or grapple. I fully expect to see someone get chin-checked early in the first round, and you better believe that the odds are stacked in Henderson’s favor simply because of his chin.

This is not a knock on Belfort, but he has been knocked out before and tends to panic when he is caught in a bad position. Henderson has shown the exact opposite; when caught in a bad position, he is also a lot calmer.

The biggest strength that Hendo is carrying into this fight is his chin. Henderson’s chin is composed of the Golden Fleece, three strands from the beard of Zeus, and one vile of cement taken from the coliseum itself … or so people say. The point is that the man can take a shot. Seeing as Henderson wants to silence some of the fans out there who are saying that he is washed up, I hope Belfort has worked on his defense because he is going to need it.