Dan Henderson pre-fight interview
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 tournament.
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 pressure.”
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.”