The UFC storms back to the forefront of the MMA world this Saturday when two legends collide for the third time at UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson III. The event, taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, sees Dan Henderson traveling down to hostile territory to look for revenge against Vitor Belfort in the rubber match of their trilogy. Belfort, of course, famously knocked out Hendo with a head kick back in November 2013 at UFC Fight Night 32, while Hendo was victorious in the pair’s first meeting at Pride 32 in 2006.

While many of Belfort’s wins during 2013 (and even earlier) come with an asterisk, both Henderson and The Phenom were undergoing the then-legal, controversial TRT treatment that would later be banned by the NSAC and other athletic commissions. Of course, Henderson never failed any drug tests, while Belfort has had a cloud of suspicion follow him due to abnormalities in test results, and past failures for performance enhancing substances. Either way, it seems to matter not to Henderson, who is willing wade back into Belfort’s back yard seeking vengeance.

This will be one of those rare times where Vitor Belfort is not the elder fighter in the bout. And at age forty-five, there are serious questions about how much longer Henderson can compete at a high level. That said, he is coming off a first round knockout of Tim Boestch from back in June, and would very much like to start stringing victories together. Here are some keys to ensure he does just that.

Prove He Has The Better Cardio

At age forty-five, this will be no easy feat for Hendo, but it may be key. As much as a quick H-bomb might finish the fight in the first round, Henderson needs to be ready to go the distance, and have more gas in the tank doing it. With his wrestling background, even at his current age, Henderson can do this, and frankly, Belfort gassed quickly during his loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 187 in May. Thus, a key may be weathering an early storm, then proving he has the cardio and ability to outwork Belfort.

Land The H-Bomb

The H-Bomb is the equalizer in any fight, and Henderson does need to land it to secure victory, given he’s fighting in hostile territory in Brazil, and letting a fight go to the judges is never a great option at the best of times. In short, this is his best path to victory, and the most likely: six of Henderson’s last seven victories (dating back to UFC 100 in 2009) have come by way of KO/TKO.

Fight Smart

Even without TRT, Vitor Belfort is a dangerous fighter. Henderson needs to come in with an intelligent game plan, not just wade into an all-out brawl. If he can do that, he can prove that both with TRT and without, he is the better man.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.