Dan Henderson believes Jon Jones has lost a step ever since the former light heavyweight champion’s doping violation ahead of UFC 200 in 2016.
Henderson, a former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion, was on hand at Bellator 290 on Saturday night for the final fight of Fedor Emelianenko’s iconic heavyweight career. Outside of the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Inside Fighting caught up with Henderson and asked the California native his thoughts on the highly anticipated UFC heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane at UFC 287.
“I don’t know. I just don’t think Jon Jones was the Jon Jones before he got tested positive a bunch of times. He’s never been the same since. We’ll See. I just think conditioning-wise, he hasn’t been the same since.”
Ahead of his scheduled UFC title fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, Jones tested positive for two banned substances, clomiphene, an anti-estrogen substance, and letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor. As a result, Jones was removed from the bout and handed a 12-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Jones returned just over a year later at UFC 214 for his long-awaited showdown with Cormier. Jones scored a knockout victory, but it was later overturned as Jones once again tested positive for a banned substance. This time it was for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid.
Dan Henderson Compliments Today’s UFC Elite
Specifically asked about the new crop of middleweight stars, Dan Henderson revealed that he is a fan of “some of them” and would have relished the opportunity to share the Octagon with them.
“Some of them have some impressive qualities for sure. They’re excellent fighters. It would have been fun if I’d been able to go against somebody with their style, but not anymore.”
Dan Henderson is a true legend of the sport having won the PRIDE middleweight and welterweight championships before moving on to Strikeforce where he captured the light heavyweight title. Hendo’ has faced a murderers’ row of MMA icons with notable wins over Renzo Gracie, ‘Shogun’ Rua, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, Michael Bisping, Fedor Emelianenko, and Hector Lombard.