MMA icon Dan Henderson Looks Back at Missed Opportunity against Jon Jones: ‘I Absolutely Would have Beat Him’

Dan Henderson Jon Jones UFC 151

Dan Henderson is confident that if he had stepped inside the Octagon with Jon Jones, he would “beat the f*ck out of him.”

In September 2012, Henderson was scheduled to square off with ‘Bones’ for the light heavyweight championship at UFC 151. Tragically, the former two-division PRIDE FC titleholder tore his MCL days before fight night, forcing him the withdraw from the contest.

Chael Sonnen offered to step in on short notice to save the event, but Jones declined the sudden change in opponent. As a result, the UFC canceled an event for the first time in promotional history.

“That’s the one fight I wish I would’ve had that I never had,” Henderson told ESPN of Jones. “I was probably the most prepared for that fight that I’ve ever been. Just kind of blew my knee out a little bit before the fight. It happened about three, three-and-a-half weeks before the fight when I hurt my knee.

“Still had the idea that I was going to be able to fight. It would’ve been tough, but I would’ve gotten it done. My team kind of talked some sense into me. It just wasn’t a smart idea. That’s the only fight I’ve ever pulled out of after a 20-year career. So I was kind of bummed” (h/t MMA Junkie).

Henderson never received another opportunity to face Jones, but to this day, the legendary knockout artist is confident that he would have been the man to dethrone ‘Bones’ at light heavyweight.

“I was 100 percent certain I was going to beat the f*ck out of him,” Henderson said. “I absolutely would have beat him up in my mind. I was so prepared, not just physically prepared but tactically, my game plan, everything. And being used to longer guys, I just was so ready, and I think all my training partners would attest to that.”

Henderson did compete against Jon Jones four years following their fight that never. The two combat sports icons competed in a submission grappling contest under the Submission Underground banner in 2016. ‘Bones’ walked away with the victory via an arm-triangle choke.

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