It’s always difficult to see sporting legends begin to decline, and there’s no doubt UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson has had a tough time of late. “Hendo” is in the midst of a three-fight losing skid after being starched in the first round by Vitor Belfort at Fight Night 32 in Brazil. It marked the first time in the veteran’s stellar 40-fight career that he had been stopped via strikes.
What makes matters even worse, it was the final fight of his UFC contract. Obviously, the combination of being 43-years old and on the longest losing streak of his career won’t help his bargaining power when the two sides talk new deal. Henderson had said before the Belfort fight that he was hoping to fight four more times. He will likely need to reduce his price tag in order to stick around.
The UFC has let Henderson walk over contractual matters before, so it’ll be intriguing to see whether he gets another chance in the Octagon, or whether he will be fighting in another promotion next. The veteran is hoping to meet with UFC officials soon to discuss his future.
Henderson has dropped decisions against Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans along with the Belfort destruction in his last three fights. He really hasn’t been the same fighter since his incredible fight against Mauricio Rua at UFC 139. In fact, both men haven’t been the same since that all-time classic encounter.
Henderson has also run into injury issues, which denied him a title opportunity at UFC 151 against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. His withdrawal began a chain of events that eventually saw the entire card get cancelled. While still having his powerful H-bomb of a right hand, Henderson has seemingly gotten too reliant on that weapon and has abandoned his strong wrestling background in recent contests.
With “Shogun” on the decline as well, there is no doubt that many fans would relish the chance to see the two MMA legends square off one more time. Henderson isn’t going to make another run at the title, but fans would probably be on board with seeing him get another chance at redemption inside the Octagon. It’ll be interesting to see if both parties can get a new deal done.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports