Approximately this time last year, fans and pundits were busy discussing whether Dan Henderson and his fearsome right hand could end the seemingly unstoppable run of Jon Jones. The two were scheduled to compete at UFC 151 on September 1st, however, Henderson injured his knee, and UFC 151 went spiralling down the drain. At the time, Henderson was on a four fight winning streak, which included memorable wins over “Shogun” Rua and Fedor Emelianenko. Not many people were predicting “Hendo” to defeat Jones, but tons of folks were looking forward to seeing him try.
Now, one year later, Henderson is coming off back-to-back split decision losses to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans, and although they were tightly contested fights–against two former champs–they certainly haven’t helped Hendo’s title shot run. In fact, in a recent interview with MMA Mania, Jones relayed that while he respects the 42 year-old legend, he doesn’t believe much would be accomplished by fighting Hendo at this point.
“I have no wishes to fight Dan Henderson,” said Jones, who will fight Alexander Gustafsson on September 21st. “Dan Henderson is a guy who, you know, he’s done a lot for this sport already, he’s a lot older. I think he’s a guy a lot of people would expect me to beat anyways. So I have no big dreams of fighting Dan Henderson.”
“[Henderson’s] last fight with Rashad Evans you could really see him starting to slow down,” Jones said. “So fighting him I don’t think really proves much.”
Heading into his June 15th bout with Evans, Henderson was open about the fact he was hoping to use the opportunity to lock up a title shot. Even though thousands of fans would likely still love to see the rugged vet throw down with Jones, at this stage, the light-heavyweight champ has more to gain by facing men like Gustafssson, Glover Teixeira or yes, even Cain Velasquez…(there are still some super fights that could happen in the post-UFC 162 world).