By Zach Arnold | June 1, 2011
KENNY RICE: “So it breaks down this way, Henderson and Fedor, of course two of the greats in the sport going at it, head-to-head. Dan, this is really an interesting match-up. How does this come out? Why did you decide to go to Heavyweight once again as the Light Heavyweight champ for this fight?”
DAN HENDERSON: “Well, I don’t think Fedor was prepared to cut down to 205 and, you know, it doesn’t matter to me. he’s not a huge heavyweight. He’s not somebody that’s, you know, take me down and hold on and hang onto me either on top, so for me, you know, it’s been a match-up that I think the fans have been wanting to see ever since I signed with Strikeforce. You know, the media and the fans have been asking if I’m going to fight him and, you know, for me it was more of I had other guys to fight at the time and, right now, at Light Heavyweight in Strikeforce there’s not really a clear opponent for me with, you know, some of the guys getting injured and some of the guys losing and (Gegard) Mousasi not having the best performance in his last fight, either. You know, I think Fedor made the most sense for Strikeforce to have right now, you know, he’s coming off a couple of losses but I think that might motivate him to really get in shape and I hope that he comes in at his best, you know, that was kind of a… for me, I want to fight the guy and challenge myself against the guy when he’s at the top of his game.”
TITO ORTIZ: “Well, time and time again you’ve always wanted to step up to the biggest (stage) possible. I remember back in PRIDE days you fought heavyweight a few times, fought Minotauro and lost a decision but I thought you won the decision. At the same time I really see the factor now of you stepping into fighting Fedor and giving the fans want they want to see, so you’re a (fan-friendly) fighter and I look up to you stepping up against him at Heavyweight. I thought it would be at Light Heavyweight and it would be a better fight, either way, but just seeing you at Heavyweight I think you’re going to expose him because, like I say, his confidence is not what it used to be so, you know, I wish you luck with this fight.”
DAN HENDERSON: “Well, thank you. For me, it was… it’s not, even though, I know the fans wanted to see this but this is more for me as well, you know. I want to challenge myself and see how I am against someone at his caliber and his level with certain things and, you know, I feel pretty confident that I’m going to beat him up.”
On the issue of when an MMA fighter should retire…
DAN HENDERSON: “I think it all depends on how you’re losing, really, and it depends on how you’re losing against what opponent(s), too. I mean if you’re losing, getting knocked out by guys that shouldn’t be knocking you out, you know, it could be time to think about it. But, you know, for me I know that I’ve been asked that a few times just because I’m 40-and-up now, you know, I just turned 40 this last year and if I’m still able to compete at the top level then I’m nowhere near done, you know. I feel great, my body’s feeling good, I’ve gotten smarter with my training and, you know, I’m ready to keep going and, you know, there’s a lot of guys that are a lot younger that probably should retire.”
At BetOnFighting, Henderson is a +210 underdog (Fedor is a -260 favorite). A rough translation of the math means Fedor is a 2-to-1 favorite. Do you agree with the betting line? Check out my new article on boxing vs. MMA action at the sportsbooks and why MMA has become such a favorable sport for the ‘books lately.