Fighting since 1997, multi-promotion MMA champion Dan Henderson got one of the most impressive wins of his storied career when he knocked out Mauricio Rua in main event rematch at last night’s (Sun., March 23, 2014) UFC Fight Night 38 in Natal, Brazil.
After weathering an early storm that nearly saw him almost finished in both the first and second rounds, “Hendo” uncorked a massive right hook that broke Rua’s nose and sent him flying to the canvas.
It was a classic “H-bomb” that the 43-year-old Henderson has become known for. Despite his critics believing that the former Pride and Strikeforce champion has lost a step and is relying too heavily on just his right hand, “Hendo” told FOX Sports after the fight that he’s still looking to fight for a UFC title:
“You know, I had a bad year last year and lost three fights, and I said to myself, I’m definitely gonna change things this year and win every fight. That’s pretty much the last goal of mine; the last thing I need to achieve in the sport is getting that UFC title. You know, I’ve had other titles, but just that UFC belt still eludes me a little bit. I’m still after it and I still feel like I’m capable of doing that.”
With losses in three out of his last four (albeit to three former champions), “Hendo” still has a lot of work to do if he wants to fight for the UFC light heavyweight. Dominant champion Jon Jones will put his belt on the line late next month against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172. If “Bones” wins that, he’ll be matched up with the only man to give him a true five round test, Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson.
That means that “Hendo” will not only have to keep winning, but also wait a long time for his title fight, something he doesn’t necessarily have.
Plus there’s also the looming issue of Henderson’s much-publicized use of testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). “Hendo” had already got the paperwork filed his exemption to use the therapy heading into the “Shogun” rematch, but TRT has since been banned by the NSAC, UFC, CSAC, and CABMMA, making it impossible for the aging Henderson to go on using the controversial treatments for fighting.
That adds up to a long road ahead for “Hendo,” but today he can sit back and enjoy the spoils of one of his most pivotal knockouts. What’s next for the iron-chinned legend?