On Sunday night, veteran face smasher Dan Henderson destroyed Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s grill at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2. Yesterday, at the news that middleweight champ Chris Weidman was injured and out of a planned UFC 173 bout against challenger Lyoto Machida, “Hendo” took to Twitter to request a pairing against “The Dragon“. Such vim and vigor from an elderly combatant is admirable – most men his age are settling into recliners for a sedentary existence that will carry them through the twilight of their lives. But for all his spry resurgence and recent success, one thing is very true of Henderson:
Dude needs to chill.
A match-up with Machida at UFC 173, or really anywhere, would be disastrous. Sure, Henderson snuffed out Shogun in thrilling fashion, and evoked all sorts of past glories in the blink of a killer right hook to the puss. But that Hendo was getting his ass kicked in the two rounds prior – really kicked. Like, “stumbling around, hanging on the edge of a precipice by his fingernails” kicked, and if not for that fistful of dynamite, he was heading towards death. One such last-second detour from sure disaster does not a career redirection make.
The fact is, Henderson is still an old man in a young man’s game. And Sunday night’s amazing end result notwithstanding, he’s still at the tail end of a long career only made longer by the elixir of TRT – a magical potion he’ll no longer be able to imbibe.
(And didn’t Vitor Belfort just establish that going off of TRT requires at least two years of downtime while the testosterone-starved body recovers and rebounds?)
Before his rematch with Shogun, Henderson fought three times in 2013, and amassed three losses in those outings. He gave up split decisions to Machida and Rashad Evans, and Belfort wrecked him worse than what he did to Shogun. Even with his fist still smoking from Sunday night, another go around with Machida would mean certain doom for the aged American no longer able to inject hormones.
If Henderson thinks he’s got a fire still burning in his belly, give him a rematch with Jake Shields or another dance with Rich Franklin. Pairing him up with a top contender will only speed up his journey to retirement.