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Dan Henderson on fighting Fedor: “I feel pretty confident that I’m going to beat him up”

By Zach Arnold | June 1, 2011

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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.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 20 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

20 Responses to “Dan Henderson on fighting Fedor: “I feel pretty confident that I’m going to beat him up””

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    I am also confident that Henderson is going to beat him up.

    • The Gaijin says:

      I’m not sure I buy a middle of the road sized LHW beating up on a 225+ lb HW who until last year was still considered one of the top HWs in the world.

      Dan’s going to wing the overhand right looking to score and Fedor’s dealt with far more technical strikers than Hendo (but he’ll have to be wary of that power). If he does try to go to the mat remember Dan is not a 6’4 240lb BJJ wizard/ADCC champ nor a mutli-discipline skilled 6’4 280lb giant that will be able to smother Fedor the way Silva did and I can’t recall him having any kind of dangerous ground and pound in recent memory. So while I don’t think he’s being considered a mortal lock like he would have by most 12 months ago, I think Fedor should be a pretty big favorite here.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        My prediction is really based on how bad I think Fedor is right now. Dan Henderson is the same fighter from 4 years ago. He has his strengths and weaknesses but really hasn’t slowed down much.

        Guys like Fedor…. When they hit the brick wall in their fighting career…. It’s quick and painful to watch.

        And when I say guys like Fedor…. I mean guys who have a unique fighting style that worked great for them but are not technical wizards.

      • Mark says:

        That’s true, especially the part about Hendo being a one-punch-wonder. But Henderson still can’t be ruled out given his history. He’s the kind of fighter who sometimes wins fights he shouldn’t (Wanderlei, and loses fights he should have won. Maybe he thrives on “nothing to lose and everything to gain”?

        But I could really see him doing what he did to Shields, where if he rocks Fedor he goes in for the kill and totally gasses out. Then that means he’ll want to wrestle with him, which would put him in the way of getting armbarred. So if he’s going to win it will be within 3 minutes standing up.

        And if Dan does win, I’ll bet he’s snatched right back into UFC to fight Anderson Silva again to make up for you-know-who being gone until he can sort out getting his pants off fire.

    • Light23 says:

      Henderson at +200 is insane. Lap that shit right up.

  2. Mark says:

    I wouldn’t call it 2 to 1, I’d call it about even. The old Fedor would definitely be worth 2 to 1 odds, but the Fedor fighting Henderson is very questionable against a guy known for some pretty big upset wins.

    I have no idea who is winning this fight. They both could. But both have some serious issues on why they could lose which makes it tougher to call. I’m not convinced about Dan’s conditioning if it goes past a round and a half, and I’m also not convinced about Fedor’s mental state. With both guys with one-punch KO power it could probably end standing, but you’ll have to give the advantage to Fedor in that case since Henderson telegraphs the right hand and Fedor hits his big shots out of nowhere. So who knows. If it goes to the ground, you can’t choose against Fedor’s armbars.

    But I think Fedor’s mental state will be the story of the fight. I said after the Werdum fight I didn’t think he’d be like Tyson and become a shell of his former self with just one loss. But two in a row is another story. The advantage he has over other athletes is he doesn’t live and die based on being “Fedor the undefeated greatest heavyweight ever!”, whereas a lot of guys buy into their own hype and when the illusion gets shattered and they’re exposed as mortal human beings then they’re done for forever. He’s as down to earth as just about anybody in MMA. But getting dominated two times in a row, I don’t care who you are, you’re going to have some huge doubts about yourself. If he doesn’t win here, he needs to retire. Whereas Henderson really has nothing to lose in this fight, and that could be his biggest advantage over anything else.

  3. Zack says:

    LOL Tito has poor memory. Hendo got a gift decision vs Big Nog in Rings and got subbed in the rematch. It was a pretty awesome fight though and he got out of a lot of stuff before he got subbed.

  4. David M says:

    If Hendo tries to slug it out with Fedor, Dan will end up unconscious. Henderson has knocked out 185 pounders; Fedor does it to 250 pound men. Obviously the biggest factor working against Fedor in these fights in America is that he can’t take his Pride “supplements” because of drug testing here. He doesn’t have the power or speed he used to because of no special vitamins, but he still is far better than Dan on the ground and still hits much harder and has better standing technique than Dan.

  5. Henderson doesn’t have Werdum’s Jits submission skill (even though Fedor did kind of just crawl right into that one) or Bigfoot Silva’s ovwerwhelming size and power. My gut is telling me that Henderson will win because he’s just more aggressive and in it than Fedor at this point, but looking at it objectively, this is going to be a very tough fight for Dan. And it wasn’t all that long ago that he got mauled and overpowered by Jake Shields at 185.

    At +200 you should definitely plunk the cash down if you have it, but from an analytical standpoint it’s not ridiculous odds.

  6. edub says:

    Fedor by big time KO. I think it’s +200 for a reason.

    • The Gaijin says:

      KO eh, I see people saying this but keep getting stuck on Hendo having *never* been KO’d in his career. Granted he’s never fought a guy like Fedor (e.g. iron-fisted HW), but I feel like I see it being more like a Fedor-Tim or Anderson-Hendo where Fedor rocks/stuns him and is able to clamp on the RNC (or maybe something a little more exotic?).

  7. cutch says:

    I think Fedor will win if they stays on their feet but one thing that Fedor has never faced is a wrestler in the cage and he’s never been gnp’d with short elbows that don’t allow room to try an arm bar.

    • The Gaijin says:

      I can honestly say (and maybe I just missed them) that I have never, ever, seen Henderson utilize short elbows on the ground. Nor have I really seen any kind of effective g’n’p from him that I’m recalling – at least in the last 5 years…usually he grinds guys out with position, six-inch hammerfists and shoulder-strikes.

      Honestly, I am weirdly much more intereted in Hendo-Fedor that I would be in Randy-Fedor at this point. Randy would get blown-up, whereas I think Dan can at least make me ponder about things on paper.

      • Nottheface says:

        Gaijin, am I’m mistaken or didn’t he finish Babalu with some ferocious GnP? And after rocking Feijao didn’t he put the hooks in and doing the same to him?

        • The Gaijin says:

          I guess I was thinking from a purely, takedown -> transition/posture up -> open up g’n’p perspective.

          But touche sir – yes you’re correct. For some reason I was thinking he dropped him (Babalu) standing and then just finished him off with punches standing over him…but now that you’ve mentioned it I believe he got position and was standing over Babalu on his back and dropping bombs. Feijao was exactly like you said.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz set for UFC 137 on October 29th in Vegas.

    I personally don’t think Diaz deserves the shot. As we have seen, success outside of the UFC does not equate to any sort of success inside the UFC. But this news isn’t a complete bummer to me:

    1) I thought GSP wouldn’t fight again until December, so an earlier fight date is great news.

    2) GSP is really out of fresh challengers.

    This is also a sign that the UFC and Showtime have improved their working relationship. If they were mortal enemies at this point, Showtime would have given them a big FU on this one. The fact that they didn’t means that they are at least working on the same page on some level.

  9. edub says:

    Dana just tweeted Diaz vs. GSP is a lock for October at Mandalay Bay. Another guy talks his way to a title shot, A.-Without having to go up against a title contender, and B. Without having to prove he’s shored up the huge hole in his game that existed in his prior stint in the UFC.

    This is a fight between to of the guys that made me fans of the sport, and also two guys I rooted for in almost every fight they were in (outside of BJ-GSP). But I just can’t support this. Earning your shot at the title has got to start being commonplace in the UFC for me to stay a fan like I am. I guess I’m the minority though.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      On a positive note, this will give Rick Story one more fight to get the experience and name value before he fights for the title.

  10. […] Dan Henderson on fighting Fedor: “I feel pretty confident that I’m going to beat him up&… | […]


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