Dan Henderson proved a lot of people wrong at UFC Fight Night 68, absolutely demolishing the much younger Tim Boetsch and scoring a classic knockout with his patented ‘H-Bomb’. Not many believed that a man of 44 years old could turn back the clock, especially not after losing so many times in recent outings. Truth be told, most fans I spoke to thought that this would be ‘Dangerous’ Dan’s exit from the big leagues, but trust the former two-weight Pride FC champion to pull a wicked first round KO on ‘The Barbarian’ and silence all the critics.
Boetsch was never really able to get anything going in this fight, as Henderson was clearly a man on a mission. The question is, even after such a monstrous win, what’s next for Dan Henderson? Currently unranked, it’s likely that Hendo will once again perforate the top 15 of the middleweight division, but it takes some fighters years to build up a title fight-winning streak, so is it simply too late on?
What options are out there for the old gun slinger with a legendary right hand? Well, there’s actually quite a bit going on at the fringe of the 185-pound category, including a couple of decent fights for Henderson. Roan Carneiro would provide a very tough game, CB Dollaway and a Michael Bisping rematch could always be a possibility, but then what about actually calling it a day and retiring from the sport?
Hendo has fought for decades in the sport of MMA (mixed martial arts), and although he’s had his ups and downs, he has seen more success and heights than most could ever imagine, let alone actually achieve. There’s nothing left for the travelled veteran to prove to the world of combat sports, but it seems he has to fulfil the desire to fight on, and I think that’s what is going to happen here.
Maybe a bout with someone like Robert Whittaker, a guy that will stand and bang in the pocket with Henderson could be fun, albeit fairly risky. The problem the UFC faces is that, as sad as it is to say this, anyone in the top echelon would destroy Hendo right now. Yoel Romero, Tim Kennedy, Jacare Souza and perhaps even the shrivelled remains of Vitor Belfort would make mincemeat of ‘Desperate Dan’ and that isn’t what we want to see.
So what are the options? Well, there are a few; Henderson could retire on a high note, stick around for some more fights that are more fun than rankings-based, he could make another title run at middleweight, or perhaps even move a division again, although it’s likely he’d be rather drained at welterweight and once again dwarfed at 205 pounds, or maybe a catchweight rematch with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua would be a blast?
My personal opinion? I’d love to see this again. How about you?