Having a “hard head” is definitely a good thing when it comes to excelling in Mixed Martial Arts. Not only can a rock-solid dome absorb more punches than someone with less constitution, but sticking to one’s guns rather than fold in the face of adversity also has a tendency to play out advantageously.
Former PRIDE/Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson has shown himself to be a perfect example of both characteristics throughout his career having never been knocked out and always remaining a man of principle. The latter recently paid off after Henderson refused to accept bouts against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira or Mauricio Rua only to receive the title-shot he desired in the end.
UFC President Dana White recently confirmed Henderson would get a crack at either the light heavyweight or middleweight championship in his next outing with the more likely option involving the winner of Jon Jones-Rashad Evans‘ 205-pound tilt next month at UFC 145.
“Yes, Dan Henderson will get the winner of that fight or the winner of the Anderson Silva fight (against Chael Sonnen),” explained White in an interview with Fight Day. “You know, there was a lot of talk about the stuff I said. Here is the thing. I offered Dan Henderson two fights. Dan Henderson wants this fight. Normally I don’t do that. Guys don’t sit around and wait and pick their fights. There’s been very specific cases where that has happened and it’s guys who have earned it or deserved it. Dan Henderson is one of those guys. Listen, Henderson has been around forever. He is forty-something years old. He has been knocking guys out left and right and if he wants to sit around and wait for this title shot, he can do it.”
Henderson earned his status as a contender by beating Rua in an all-time classic this past November in addition to holding consecutive wins over Rafael Cavalcante, Renato Sobral, and Fedor Emelianenko in his three previous in-ring appearances.
Evans-Jones fight on April 21, while Silva vs. Sonnen is expected to take place on June 23 at UFC 147.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC