It was over 16 years ago, a 2x US Olympian in Greco-Roman
wrestling made his professional MMA debut in South America’s
biggest country with back-to-back stoppage wins in a one night only
Nearly two decades later, Dan Henderson is returning to fight in
Brazil for the first time at 43 years old and, easily, as one of
the most accomplished fighters the sport has ever known, but
it’s not “Hendo” who is looking to reminisce
because he’s itching to take on Vitor Belfort in the UFC
Fight Night main event.
“Some memories come back, but it’s not like
I’m over here to reflect on my career or finish my career
here,” tells Henderson. “I’m still planning on
being active and fighting for at least two more years. Obviously,
being the last fight on my contract there’s a little bit of
added pressure, but I love that. I love to come through under
The setting is not unfamiliar nor is the opponent as Belfort and
Henderson clashed at PRIDE 32. “Hendo” won a unanimous
decision the first time, and he estimates he’s evolved more
than Belfort has in the past 7 years.
“I’m just improved,” says Henderson.
“I’m more experienced and better at fighting.
He’s improved on certain things with his striking, but I
don’t think he’s improved as much in the rest of the
game with his wrestling, his ground game. I think a good mixture of
mixed martial of arts is going to win this fight.”