Now this fight hasn’t been made official yet but it feels solid. To be blunt though, Dan Henderson will probably not win. Regardless of TRT use, Henderson is just too far past his prime to contend with the new breed of fighters at 205. Then again, Daniel Cormier has yet to face a ranked opponent at 205 so regardless of the possible disparity in skill sets at this point, this fight makes sense.
If anything, not being on TRT will mess with Hendo’s head. If in fact he did win though, the irony would almost be unbearable. While being on TRT he wasn’t exactly blasting through opponents in a murderous roidrage. If anything he’s closer to retirement than true contendership these days. If he comes out looking like the Hendo of old, it’s going to be interesting to hear his response to the questions asked of him at the post fight presser in regards to being off TRT.
Now don’t write off the rest of this piece as a big hate fest at the expense of Henderson. The man has done enough to deserve endless amounts of accolades and praises. He just isn’t relevant anymore in the light heavyweight division and Cormier is.
But a fight like this is exciting for two reasons.
1) If D.C. wins he cracks in to the top ten and can be meticulously compared to all the fighters who have faced Hendo over the years and are still ranked in the top ten, of which is always fun.
2) If Hendo wins he secures his spot on the top ten list with a massive win over an extremely hyped fighter in his division who is also undefeated as of yet in his career.
Let’s take a look at the style of these two and really break down the possibilities. On paper, this one could become something truly special. Both fighters have a strong wrestling background they like to use to set up strikes and both harbor a penchant for keeping the fight standing while dropping heavy handed bombs in tandem.
Considering Hendo’s recent fall from grace where he dropped three losses to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157 in February 2013, Rashad Evans at UFC 161 in June, and then Vitor Belfort in November, he seems to be slowing down and that’s not good in a division where speed kills.
With his recent victory over Shogun, a lot can be taken away from the win. First off, he was rocked multiple times himself, even though he eventually blasted his way to victory in one of the most epic knockouts recorded in UFC history. Just watch the way his crushing right cracked Shogun, sending him head over heels in to the canvas.
So in a sense, Hendo has just as strong a chance at losing as he does winning. If he can land his patented H-bomb, it’s lights out for anyone opposite of him. But if he doesn’t, he’s going to leave himself open and D.C. is not the man you want taking free shots at your chin.
And D.C. will capitalize on any weakness Hendo will exhibit in the cage. If Hendo gets rocked, he’s not pulling guard. Instead he’s getting put away. That’s the nature of the beast in the upper echelon of the 205 division and unless Hendo is given an opponent such as Shogun who is passed their prime as well, it’s just not going to be a good night for him.