Even when Dan Henderson was scheduled to fight light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones last year, there weren’t a ton of people betting the farm that Hendo was going to defeat the much younger star. Of course, that bout never happend due to Henderson getting injured. After he dropped a split decision loss to Lyoto Machida in February, his chances of securing another title shot were setback further.

The 42 year-old Henderson has been counted out plenty of times before however. Following his unanimous decision loss to Jake Shields in April, 2010, critics began questioning whether his time as an elite performer might be over. Before long, Henderson had won the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title and then in July, 2011, he KO’d legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. Most people didn’t see that coming. After that, he returned to the UFC and handed former champ “Shogun” Rua a unanimous decision defeat.

So, for all these reasons, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that Henderson is still bent on getting that title shot back, which was taken from him by an injured knee. While speaking to MMA Weekly.com recently, the feared striker noted:

“(A title shot) is absolutely one of my goals, but there is a bunch of tough up-and-coming fighters out there that would be good fights for me. At this point I am focused on Rashad, but ultimately my goal is to win a UFC title.”

If Hendo can go out and defeat Evans in thrilling fashion, the chances of him getting a crack at the belt before it’s time to hang up the gloves, will be dramatically improved.

UFC 161 goes down Saturday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports