Dan Henderson: Maybe staying away from cocaine has helped prolong my career
It’s safe to assume that 42-fight legend Dan Henderson is never going to be on the Jon "Bones" Jones cheer squad.
Henderson has maintained a healthy amount of distaste for Jones ever since the two fighters were paired up to meet at UFC 151 in 2012 before a knee injury sidelined the 44-year old competitor and forced him to withdraw from the headline bout. While Henderson has never gotten the chance to face Jones in the Octagon, the rivals have continued to jab at each other in interviews over the course of the past two-plus years.
Jones took aim at Henderson quite often leading up to his bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 when he called the former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion a "60-year old." Jones’ attacks continued when he discredited Cormier’s win over Henderson due to the veteran’s age and skill level when compared to his own.
Needless to say following the revelation this week that Jones entered rehab after testing positive for cocaine metabolites, Henderson wasted no time firing back at the UFC light heavyweight champion.
In an interview with FOX Sports leading up to his bout against Gegard Mousasi at FOX UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Johnson, Henderson was asked about his career longevity and how he’s able to maintain passion for the sport after all these years.
"I enjoy the sport quite a bit and it’s fun for me to do. I love the challenge of it and everything else. Maybe it’s staying away from the cocaine that’s made me prolong my career so long," Henderson said in the interview.
Henderson has never shied away from the fact that he doesn’t care for Jones on a personal level, often accusing the UFC light heavyweight champion of showing one side of himself while he’s in the public while being a completely different person when the bright lights aren’t shining.
This latest fiasco where Jones ended up in rehab after a December 4 drug test revealed that he tested positive for cocaine was only more fuel on the fire for Henderson to prove his point. Henderson says after Jones was officially busted in the drug test it was only further proof to the rumors and innuendos he’s heard about him for the past couple of years.
"I’ve heard that he was doing these things for a couple years," Henderson said about Jones. "I’ve said in a number of interviews especially when I was going to fight him that he just wasn’t a very genuine of a person. He portrays himself differently than he actually is. Slowly but surely more and more things happen that prove that statement to be true."
One of the major issues Henderson has with Jones is the fact that he’s sitting in the spotlight as the face of the UFC while also getting arrested for driving under the influence, or now testing positive for cocaine metabolites, just four weeks out from the biggest fight of his career against Cormier at UFC 182.
Instead of being a beacon of hope or a good example to kids and future fighters, Henderson sees Jones as the worst possible person to look up to because of his tendency to constantly get into trouble outside of the Octagon.
"With the DUI that he’s had and now testing positive for cocaine, he’s not acting as a good role model for kids and nobody the UFC would want as a role model for kids growing up that watch the UFC," Henderson said. "It’s a shame, it’s unfortunate that he is that way but we’ll see what he does with it. It would be refreshing if he could come out and just act the way he actually is and I think people would actually embrace that more than being a fake."
Don’t expect Henderson to suddenly play nice with Jones just because he’s gone into a drug treatment facility after getting popped for cocaine usage prior to his fight. The drug test was just the latest symptom in Jones’ ongoing sickness when it comes to his inability to stay away from trouble while portraying himself as an upstanding citizen.
As much as Henderson regards Jones when it comes to his fighting ability, on a personal level he just has nothing but disdain for the UFC light heavyweight champion.
"I just have no respect for him as a person," Henderson said. "Even before I heard that he tested positive, I didn’t have that respect for him. As a fighter, he absolutely has every fighter’s respect as far as what his talents are, but as a person I just don’t respect guys that talk the way he does about people, are arrogant the way that he is, and act holier than thou but really they’re dirtier than thou.
"It’s unfortunate that he’s in a position to be a role model and portrays himself that way. Hopefully, he doesn’t put a bad name on the sport."