Just because Dan Henderson is healing up from his fantastic five-round affair with Mauricio Rua at UFC 139 does not mean he’s blind to what’s going on with a few of his notable peers, especially when one of them will exit the Octagon with a certain shiny trinket “Hendo” wants to add to his resume before calling it quits on his career.
Henderson recently spoke some about the main event at UFC 140 between champion Jon Jones and challenger Lyoto Machida, providing his prediction on the outcome and explaining he matched up well with that individual as a potential opponent.
“I think obviously Jon Jones is probably the favorite in that one,” the 29-8 icon revealed in an interview with Sherdog Radio. “With his style and his wrestling ability, he should be able to control the fight well. Lyoto likes to stay on the outside, and I think that’s probably not the opponent to do it against.”
With “Hendo” being an accomplished grappler himself, as well as preferring to mix it up rather than pick his shots from the perimeter, the 41-year old went on to so he thought he would offer a significant challenge for the title-holding phenom.
“I think I’m a tough fight for anybody,” Henderson began before continuing, “If you’re in a fight with me, you’re definitely going to know you’re in a fight. I don’t know if really Jon Jones has felt that too much in his career. I definitely would test that out. I think style-wise I match up real well with him.”
However, with Rashad Evans scheduled to fight Phil Davis for top contendership at UFC on FOX 2 in January it appears Henderson will have to wait his turn and could be forced to fight again to cement his own shot at the belt despite his record as of late and victory over Rua.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Henderson plans to accept such a scenario willingly, joking, “All I know is, if I have to, I’ll pull out the age card and just say I should have seniority here. I’m getting older. Rashad’s got a little more time than I do.”
Before crossing that bridge, like the rest of the MMA world, Henderson will be tuning in this weekend to see if Jones does indeed retain the divisional gold against the unique stylings of Machida. UFC 140 will air on PPV this Saturday night with the broadcast starting at 9:00 PM EST for the final time before things head back to 10:00 PM EST later this month with UFC 141.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I don’t disagree with Henderson’s assessment of the fight and would also be surprised if Machida leaves Toronto with the title in tow. As far as how he matches up with Jones I’m not so sure. I think the UFC may want to consider going back on Davis/Evans being a #1 contender fight and have the winner face Henderson in late March or April so there’s no debate. Jones has been extremely active over the past nine months and deserves a nice break so why not let him have the first half of 2012 off?