The UFC has put together a truly special event for their 14th Fox show. The event has an assortment of great match ups and a main event that has title shot implications for the light heavyweight division. The co-main event is a fight between two legends of MMA, Gegard Mousasi and Dan Henderson.

Both men have a wealth of experience, both in the cage and in the ring. They have both made names for themselves by fighting in the biggest promotions in the United States and internationally. When both men step into the cage, there will be a total of 82 fights’ worth of experience between them.

Mousasi is two and two since returning to the UFC in 2013 via the acquisition of Strikeforce. Though his UFC record isn’t exactly what people expected, it would be surprising if he went on a skid and found himself a free agent.

Dan Henderson, on the other hand, has been fighting since 1997, and were it not for his name and reputation it’s unlikely that he would still have his spot on the roster. With only one win in his last five fights, the writing appears to be on the wall for the forty-four year old fighter.

In his last outing, Henderson lost a one sided fight against Daniel Cormier. It was difficult to watch as a true legend of the sport was rag-dolled and beat down relentlessly by D.C. The fight ended with Dan Henderson no tapping and going out face first on the mat. No fighter wants to retire on a loss like that. Though Henderson has done so much for the sport that he has nothing to prove, and surely many would be happy he retired, it would be great to see him win one last fight. He hasn’t really spoken of retirement, but at forty-four with the amount of fights he has had, it’s clear that this could be it. So with that in mind, here are Dan “Hendo” Henderson’s keys to victory.

Conditioning

Hendo is one of the few fighter’s left that previously had a TRT exemption. He always seemed like a legitimate candidate for it, and no one ever questioned that he was abusing it because he didn’t look all that different. As an example look at Dan Henderson pre and post TRT versus, say, Vitor Belfort. That being said, at forty-four his levels will be naturally lower than his twenty-nine year old opponent. He must have the ability to maintain a steady pace for three rounds with Mousasi. Mousasi has never been knocked out and Hendo hasn’t submitted anyone since 1999, and that was due to strikes.

The Grind

Mousasi is a strange fighter. He fights with about as much emotion as he shows in pre- and post-fight press events — little to none. That being said, he has an ability to casually pick apart his opponents on the feet and if it goes to the ground he is crafty with submissions. Overall, Henderson will have to make this his fight. Moving in and out of the pocket and when the opportunity presents itself, clinch him up against the cage and dirty box him, thus eliminating Mousasi’s awkward movement and allowing Hendo to unload his most deadly weapon. This takes us to the final key to victory.

The H-Bomb

Henderson’s background in wrestling is elite, but in his last outing against a younger, faster, elite wrestler, it didn’t afford him too much benefit. While Henderson may be able to out-wrestle Mousasi, it’s probably best to avoid the ground. It’s no secret that Henderson’s greatest attribute is his cannon-like right hand. It’s been labeled the H-bomb and with good reason. Out of his thirty professional victories, he has won fourteen by knock out. Mousasi has never been knocked out, but if anyone can do it, it’s Hendo.

 

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.

  • Kyle Pineapple

    Henderson is pretty far past his prime but look at his record. His last stretch of 1-4 is the first time he’s lost like that, and those four losses are against absolute killers. Two were split-decision losses to Machida and Rashad, one was against TRT Vitor and the last one was against the vastly larger Daniel Cormier. Before that he won four in a row including wins over calvacante and Fedor. Just saying…