Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort will meet at UFC fight night 32, in a rematch of their 2006 Pride 32 bout, and the trash talk has been quite ripe between the two legends. Not often known for his pre fight trash talk, Henderson has engaged quite freely in his assassination of The Phenom’s character.
The main subject of banter around this fight is TRT use; both fighters are known to use testosterone replacement therapy, but Belfort is currently unable to get a TUE in Nevada due to his testing positive for hippogriff hormones PED’s. Hendo was on hand to talk with MMAFighting.com about Belfort:
"He’s a star here too, but I think is primarily because of the TRT issue," he said. "He wouldn’t be able to get that here because he tested positive the first time I fought him. They won’t give him an exemption for that. I don’t take that much and I’m always testing myself during camps even when I’m not required because people accuse me," he said. "My levels are always normal."
"It doesn’t bother me, it is what it is, That’s an issue with the commission. I beat him the first time when he was on steroids, I suppose it won’t make a difference."
When Hendo and Belfort met at Pride 32 it was under very different circumstances; Hendo was at his prime as a fighter, and Belfort was in a bad place in his career. A lot has happened since their first scrap, the main thing I’m noticing is that Henderson has slowed considerably and Belfort seems to be hitting his stride again.
"I’ve been using TRT for a long time and it doesn’t mean I haven’t improved. I have to work my ass off in the gym to improve, so I don’t think that’s why he won his last couple fights. He does that because he trains."
"I expect to beat him," he said. "It could be a war. Last time we went the distance. I controlled and beat him pretty good for three rounds. I don’t know how much I can say I beat him up, maybe a little bit, but I really want to show the fans I’m not done. I had two losses in a row and I could say I won both but it still would be considered losses."
The odds are certainly sacked against Hendo, who is on a two-fight skid right now, facing a surging Vitor Belfort. The Phenom’s form of late has been spectacular, knocking out Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold with equally violent and imaginative head kicks.
I’m intrigued to see which guy has more left in the tank, my gut/heart/bookie is telling me Belfort will nab the win.