Once a fighter hits the age of 40, chances are he is likely either out of the sport, looking to put the finishing touches on a career, or simply in desperate need of money. However, uber-successful scrapper Dan Henderson is built from the same mold as Randy Couture in that he feels like there are several good years left in front of him despite being “over the hill”.
Currently, Henderson is awaiting a shot at either the UFC light heavyweight or middleweight title he earned defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua late in 2011 on top of success in Strikeforce.
In a recent interview with ESPN, the 41-year-old Henderson claimed he wanted to continue past his current UFC contract and sign up for another one after that assuming the organization will have him
“I’ve got three more fights on my deal, and I’ll probably sign one more deal after that,” Henderson said. “I definitely won’t be as old as Randy when I retire!”
Henderson credits changes in his training as the prime reason he will be able to continue fighting past the normal retirement age for MMA athletes, adding, “I’m smarter with my training. I’m also smarter with my positioning and my techniques. I know what works and what doesn’t. And I’m learning from those at my gym.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: At this point in his career, it is hard to fault Henderson for waiting to get another crack at UFC gold. It’s the main reason he left the promotion for Strikeforce a few years back. But, sitting on the sidelines will not only get him that crack, it will allow him to take less fights each year and compete longer, much like Couture did with movie roles and other non-fighting obligations.