It may have been more nostalgia than reality which kept the dream of Dan Henderson becoming a UFC champion alive up until Saturday night. The former two-weight Pride champion and Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion has long been a fan favourite and the only noticeable gap on his impressive CV is a UFC title.
Following his KO win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in his last outing the dream of Hendo facing Jon Jones for the title took a tentative step towards reality. This is despite losing his previous three UFC fights and being 43-years of age AND the reality that he was getting pummelled by Shogun before he unleashed the equaliser that is his right hand. Such is his popularity.
Even the most ardent Henderson fans have to admit the dream is over after he was man-handled by Daniel Cormier before being choked unconscious in the third round at UFC 173 in Las Vegas. Having heavy hands won’t help you as you’re being dismissively tossed through the air by a younger (though by much) and stronger man. It’s now hard to see anything other than nostalgia bouts against fellow over-the-hill fan favourites for one of the most feared fighters in MMA’s short history.
Daniel Cormier on the other hand remains unbeaten (15-0) and looks set for a well-deserved title fight after this dominant performance. The question is whether he’ll be facing Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson.