Posts Tagged ‘Dan Henderson’

UFC 161 Predictions: Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson

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Light heavyweight Rashad Evans (left) will fight Dan Henderson in Winnipeg. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Light heavyweight Rashad Evans (left) will fight Dan Henderson in Winnipeg. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images) analyst Jeff Wagenheim provides his predictions for UFC 161, which takes place Saturday (10 p.m. ET).

Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson

OK, let’s see. I’m already on record with a main event pick in our Crash Course feature. Think anyone would notice if I go the other way here? It’s that close of a fight, that tough for me to call. I would not be surprised to see a Henderson right hand lay out Evans, Bisping-style. I would not be surprised to see Evans beat Henderson to the punch for three rounds, and wouldn’t even be shocked if Rashad became the first to finish “Hendo.” But I’m going to stick to my eenie-meenie-miney-mo pick, which I based on Evans’ recent history of a low flame on the fire that drives fighters. Henderson by decision.

Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic

Just what “Big Country” wants: an opponent who’s a standup specialist, one who’s more polished at fisticuffs than he is, one who’ll make the same thud when he hits the canvas that Roy’s past foes have. Nelson by TKO.

Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac

After having his 17-fight win streak snapped in his last fight, Jimmo will be eager to get back on track. And he’s just the freight train to do that, especially against a guy who”ll stand and bang with him. Jimmo by TKO.

Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton

Davis is on a mission to move up in the women’s bantamweight division, and to do that she needs to move this fight down to the mat. Once she gets there, she’ll know what to do. Davis by submission.

Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan

Both guys have had their ups and downs, but Barry has been doing it against a higher level of competition. That will make a difference. Barry by decision.

– Jeff Wagenheim

  • Published On Jun 14, 2013
  • Dana White: ‘If you have to use TRT, you’re probably too old to be fighting’

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    UFC president Dana White hopes to ban testosterone replacement therapy from MMA. (AP)

    UFC president Dana White hopes to ban testosterone replacement therapy from MMA. (AP)

    MONTREAL — From Chael Sonnen to Forrest Griffin, Frank Mir to Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort to Rampage Jackson and beyond, mixed martial artists at the sport’s highest level have successfully persuaded state athletic commissions to OK medical exemptions for them to use testosterone replacement therapy.

    But Dana White has a different message for those fighters: “If you have to use TRT, you’re probably too old to be fighting.”

    Read More…

  • Published On Mar 15, 2013
  • Experts’ Predictions for UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche

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    All three of's experts predict that Ronda Rousey will defeat Liz Carmouche by submission. (AP)

    All three of’s experts predict that Ronda Rousey will defeat Liz Carmouche by submission. (AP) analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Wagenheim provide their predictions for UFC 157 on Saturday.

    Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche

    DOYLE: An Iraq War vet with three tours of duty, Carmouche won’t be intimidated by Rousey like so many other opponents. She’ll probably even be the first to really tag Rousey, putting a scare into Dana White in the process. But when push comes to shove, the armbar wins out. Rousey by submission, round two.

    HUNT: I was surprised that the UFC selected Carmouche as a first opponent for its superstar women’s champion. Carmouche is unpredictable, capable in multiple disciplines (decent striking, better ground game), and able to adapt mid-fight. That said, Carmouche will have to get close to Rousey to beat her, where the Olympic judo bronze medalist is at her strongest. Rousey by submission.

    WAGENHEIM: How do I say this without mischaracterizing Carmouche as some mannequin being stood in the octagon just to create the appearance of Rousey not being in there alone? Liz is very much a live opponent, tough and aggressive. She’s a real fighter. But Ronda is unreal. She’s showed herself to be at a whole different level than every past opponent, and she’ll make that evident again on Saturday. Rousey by submission.

    Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida

    DOYLE: One of these days, age is finally going to catch up to Henderson, who hasn’t fought in a year and a half. He’s gotten into precarious situations in his last two fights (against Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio Rua) and rallied to win. This time, he won’t be so lucky. Machida by TKO, round three.

    HUNT: Machida has been flying a bit under the radar, but he’s training diligently and improving proportionately. At age 42, Henderson’s career is winding down, and stamina has never been his strong suit. Let us not forget that he hasn’t fought in 15 months and is coming back from a recurring knee injury (He’s had ACL surgery in the past, too). He’s still got fight-finishing power in both hands, but I’d wager Machida will stay far out of range for them. Machida by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: Machida is elusive and tricky and dangerous, but Hendo has been solving puzzles of all shapes and sizes for a long time. Old man Dan actually gets an assist here from Rousey and Carmouche, because with the women being in the main event, this clash of ex-champs is just a three-rounder. That way, the 42-year-old won’t lose steam. Henderson by decision.

    Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar

    DOYLE: Faber’s career pattern in recent years has been to lose competitive matches to champions and dominate the rest of the competition. Until proven otherwise, I’ll stick with that assumption. Faber by third-round submission.

    HUNT: Menjivar doesn’t depend on fighting to put food on his family’s table and his calm, methodical style reflects that. Faber will likely push the pace, which will take Menjivar out of his comfort zone a bit, but if the Salvadorian-Canadian can keep it together, he might find his opening. Menjivar by submission.

    WAGENHEIM: Faber is just 3-3 in his last six fights, but look at the losses: to José Aldo, Dominick Cruz and Renan Barão. Urijah loses to the best… and bests everyone else. Faber by decision.

    Court McGee vs. Josh Neer

    DOYLE: With the UFC handing out pink slips left and right, the loser of this might be out of a job. In the end, McGee’s size in his drop to welterweight should be too much for the former lightweight Neer. McGee by decision. 

    HUNT: Both are coming off back-to-back losses, but McGee is younger in this game, with more yet to accomplish. He’ll have to deal with a durable veteran who’s equally comfortable going toe-to-toe and tangling on the ground, but the gritty McGee’s hunger should pull him through. McGee by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: This is a fight for survival, as both men are on two-fight losing streaks and understand the perils of continuing that downward trend. McGee by decision.

    Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler

    DOYLE: The veteran Lawler still drops big bombs, but he’s dangerously close to being in the “puncher’s chance” stage of his career. Koscheck by decision. 

    HUNT: What a fight to kick off this historic pay-per-view — two fighters who truly enjoy the dance that is MMA striking. Since Lawler’s current training situation is a mystery and Koscheck has likely assimilated to his new surroundings following his dramatic departure from AKA, the latter has the clear advantage. In addition, Koscheck, an accomplished collegiate wrestler, can shoot in on Lawler at any time should things go array on its feet. Koscheck by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Koscheck seems to have slipped a bit in the welterweight pecking order, but he hasn’t slipped far enough to let this one get away. Koscheck by KO.

  • Published On Feb 22, 2013
  • Jones, White spar over details surrounding UFC event cancellation

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    Jon Jones denied responsibility for UFC 151′s cancellation. (

    TORONTO — The dance begins with one fighter walking out onto the stage, stripping down to his skivvies and stepping onto the scale. When his weight is announced, he flexes for the crowd, then moves off to the side and dresses while his opponent walks out, strips, weighs in, flexes, dresses. The two meet at center stage, face to face, fists up, striking a combative pose for the cameras. And after a dozen shutter clicks they’re done, off to rehydrate. Next set of fighters, please?

    There may be no element of a mixed martial arts event more choreographed than the weigh-ins.

    So how did light heavyweight champion Jon Jones end up having an off-the-script moment Friday afternoon after stepping off the scale?

    It came about when Jones found himself staring into the eyes of not one but two people ready to go face to face with him. One was Vitor Belfort, who’ll be his opponent in the main event of UFC 152 on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre (10 p.m. ET, PPV). The other was Dana White.

    The UFC president and his 205-pound megastar had been sparring verbally for weeks, ever since Jones, upon being notified nine days prior to UFC 151 that challenger Dan Henderson was injured, turned down replacement opponent Chael Sonnen. The UFC ended up cancelling the Sept. 1 event — a first in the 11 years White has been running the show — and a fired-up White went on the offensive, calling Jones “selfish and disgusting” and his trainer/adviser/guru, Greg Jackson, “a [expletive] sport killer.”

    As this weekend’s event neared, with Jones having been added to the top of the bill, he and White indicated that they would meet face to face here in Toronto to clear the air. The meeting was to take place just prior to the weigh-ins. So all eyes were on Jones as he stepped off the scale. Would he and White shake hands or even embrace, an indication that the cold war was over? Or would an icy chill pervade the stage set up atop a hockey rink at the old Maple Leaf Gardens, telling us that Dana might not have renewed his membership in the Jonny Bones Fan Club?

    What we saw instead from Jones was an uncharacteristic moment of uncertainty. This phenom fighter who never hesitates to attack inside the octagon seemed to waver when he spotted White. Then he smiled, White smiled, even Belfort smiled, and the choreography resumed.

    What did it all mean? It meant that Jones and White had not yet met. They apparently planned to do so a few minutes later. And say what? “None of your business,” White responded when asked that very question in a Fuel TV interview following the weigh-ins.

    We can at least surmise that the discussion explored areas of disagreement. A case in point: At a Thursday press conference, Jones spoke respectfully of the boss — “Dana White is awesome, man” — but steered clear of accepting responsibility for the UFC 151 fiasco. “I have actually zero power to cancel an event,” he said. “When I was actually talking to Dana and [UFC chairman/CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] about accepting the Chael Sonnen fight, they never told me if I didn’t accept the fight that they were going to cancel the event.”

    It would have been interesting to hear White respond to that, but he was absent from the press conference, laid up at his hotel with an episode of Ménière’s disease. But in the Fuel TV interview, Dana had his say. “I don’t think he would have said that if I was there,” said White. “So today we’re going to be face to face and we’ll see what he says and what he doesn’t say. The fact that he says that he didn’t know that the show would get cancelled is false. I did tell him that the show would be cancelled.”

    And with that, White headed off to a windowless room with his light heavyweight champ. And then? Nothing. Nada. Not a word. (OK, chief, you can deactivate the Cone of Silence now.) My colleague from Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Iole, texted White to ask about the meeting and got this terse text back: “It went well.” Other than that, White, who posts his thoughts on Twitter about as often as he takes a breath, has gone quiet. So has Jones, unless we can read something into his only post-meeting tweet, a quote attributed to Michael Jordan: “Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

    So stay tuned. Like any long-running soap opera, there’s always another episode to come.

    —Jeff Wagenheim

  • Published On Sep 22, 2012
  • Dan Henderson wants to teach Jon Jones a lesson at UFC 151

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    Dan Henderson (above) is embracing the underdog role ahead of his fight with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. (Bryan Armen Graham/

    LAS VEGAS — Dan Henderson thinks Jon Jones still has a lot to learn — and that he’s just the one to teach it to the youngest champion in UFC history when they meet in September.

    “He’s still young and unorthodox, that’s his biggest asset, [but] he’s young and sloppy a little bit,” Henderson said Saturday afternoon in the media center at the MGM Grand, just hours before tonight’s Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen title fight. “He’s done well with his style but I feel like he’s never fought anybody like me.”

    Henderson sat at the long end of the dais, circled by a gaggle of media eager to discuss his forthcoming challenge for Jones’ UFC light heavyweight title. The fight, initially confirmed following Jones’ defense against Rashad Evans back in April, was officially announced Saturday for September 1 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

    The 41-year-old Henderson is a 4-to-1 underdog against Jones, who is coming off his third defense of the UFC light heavyweight title since becoming the youngest beltholder in the organization’s history in March 2011. The Rochester, N.Y., native has now beaten four current or former world champions in a row since a third-round TKO of Mauricio Rua to capture the UFC’s 205-pound strap.

    “For me it’s about beating the top guys out there, and everybody thinks he’s unbeatable,” Henderson said. “I love having the odds not in my favor.”

    Henderson said the sinewy Jones, who is 10-1 since joining the UFC (16-1 overall), poses some unique physical challenges — a 13-and-a-half reach advantage, for starters — yet nothing he won’t be prepared for.

    “I guess the difference is he’s got arms twice as long as everybody else I’ve fought,” Henderson said. “But it’s not rocket science. I’ve been doing it a while. There’s certain things I need to be careful for that he does well. I’ve just got to be aware of that, and implement what I want to do with him.”

    When asked about the 17-year age difference between the two, Henderson quipped, “I guess I’ll have to show him what he can look forward to.”

    The next time the UFC holds a card as big as tonight’s Silva-Sonnen headliner, it will be Henderson in the spotlight. For tonight he’s content to watch from the wings, where, appropriately, he expects another underdog to rise to the moment.

    “Chael,” he said matter-of-factly when asked for his prediction. “It seems like his head’s where it needs to be at.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham

  • Published On Jul 07, 2012
  • CSAC passes amendment that would allow exemptions for TRT, marijuana

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    Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson was granted a medical exemption for testosterone when he fought 'Shogun' Rua at UFC 139. (Josh Hedges/Forza/Getty Images)

    The California State Athletic Commission voted on Monday to approve an amendment that allows therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for combat sports’ athletes who use drugs currently banned by the state agency for medical purposes, including testosterone and marijuana.

    To be adopted into state law, the amendment’s verbiage must now be reviewed and approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs and then the state’s Office of Administrative Law, a process that could take months or even years, if it passes at all.

    A DCA representative was present at the Monday hearing to read a letter from its director, stating the agency’s concern that the proposed exemption process wasn’t specific enough and undermined the CSAC’s purpose to ensure fighter safety.

    Loosely modeled after the exemption process the World Anti-Doping Agency uses for Olympians, Monday’s CSAC-approved amendment states that the exemption will only apply to “medication needed to maintain health and not obtain an unfair advantage over an opponent during a match.”

    Prior to Monday’s vote, the CSAC inserted additional verbiage clarifying that the TUE applicant would be responsible for all costs related to tests and medical evaluations that might be requested for an approval.

    The amendment’s origin dates back to late 2010, after UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, then maintained at his suspension appeals hearing that he’d gotten an exemption under the previous commission’s staff for the medical condition hypogonadism. Entering CSAC executive Officer George Dodd was unable to find any documentation to support Sonnen’s claim, and the fighter’s one-year suspension was reduced (only to be reinstated later).

    In response, the CSAC began to draft a formal TUE process for future applicants.

    Read More…

  • Published On Apr 09, 2012
  • Did judges score Henderson-Rua right?

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    There’s no argument that light heavyweight veterans Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua put on one of the best fights of 2011 at UFC 139 two weeks ago in San Jose, Calif. The debate lied in how the judges scored the bout, particularly in the fifth and final round.

    The California State Athletic Commission provided with the bout’s official scorecard, and some might be surprised to learn that there wasn’t a single 10-8 round awarded to either fighter. In fact, all three judges tallied the fight identically, giving Henderson the 48-47 unanimous decision.

    As he always does after events, CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd held a brief meeting for all the officials who worked at UFC 139 that night. The Henderson-Rua scoring was discussed.

    When it came to the fifth round, Dodd said that all three judges felt that “Shogun did win the round but did not do enough damage to score a 10-8 round,” he wrote via email. “He was in a dominating position but did not cause a lot of damage.”

    How did the judges come to the 10-9 determination for Rua and not the 10-8 score some thought he deserved?

    Read More…

  • Published On Nov 29, 2011
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 139

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    Dan Henderson (above), 41, is a consensus pick Saturday against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the main event of UFC 139 in San Jose, Calif. (AP) analysts Ben Fowlkes, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 139 on Saturday in San Jose.

    Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson

    FOWLKES: Hendo hits hard and can wrestle a little bit when things aren’t going his way on the feet. Rua is a wild card who’s sometimes brilliant, and sometimes mediocre. I’ll side with dependability here. Henderson by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Shogun’s game is the KO, as 17 of his 20 wins, and all of his last five, have come via him turning out the lights on someone. But Henderson’s chin has no “off” switch — he’s never been knocked out. Henderson by KO.

    WERTHEIM: Henderson may be north of 40, but he’s looked remarkably spry and youthful in his last three Strikeforce fights including, of course, the summer smackdown of Fedor. Rua is a full decade younger but there’s a lot mileage on the odometer. Forget the odds. Henderson by TKO.

    Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le

    FOWLKES: Silva still hits hard enough to have a decent chance in the first three minutes. After that, his prospects are dim and only getting dimmer. Le by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Is that a typo in the UFC press release where it says Silva is 35? You sure he’s not 53? Le, a young 39, in an early night. Le by KO.

    WERTHEIM: Fedor notwithstanding, is Le the best fighter never to have competed in the UFC? At age 39, the talented fighter (and sometimes actor) makes his UFC debut in his adopted hometown of San Jose. Says here Le’s kicks will open up the axe murderer. Le by TKO.

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  • Published On Nov 18, 2011