When Rashad Evans outpointed Phil Davis at UFC on FOX 2 and exited the match-up in relatively good health the mystery surrounding who light heavyweight Jon Jones would defend his title against next was solved. However, the question about equally deserving contender Dan Henderson’s future remained unanswered.
Henderson, who solidified his standing as a top challenger with an exciting win over Mauricio Rua in November, recently opened up on his plan for 2012 in a conversation with ESPN where he explained it’s never been his intention to wait for Jones-Evans to settle their score.
“That was never what I said or anything,” said the former Strikeforce/DREAM champion. “I don’t know who said that, but it wasn’t me. My thoughts were I was waiting to see what happened with Rashad and Phil Davis. That was the only thing I was going to wait for.”
“Obviously you can’t guarantee that nobody gets hurt,” he added, alluding to the possibility of stepping in as a replacement for Jones or Evans, continuing, “I don’t know what the plan is, but I’d fight whoever it is they think would be a good match-up. The problem is there’s really nobody right now who fits the bill for a title contention fight; that would make sense to fight me. I don’t know. Maybe I’d fight at a different weight class. I don’t know if they see anybody at heavyweight that would make sense? But I would prefer to fight someone in April or May.”
The idea of a heavyweight tilt is certainly enticing given Henderson’s success against Fedor Emelianenko though, as he admitted, there aren’t a lot of names jumping out at him as being something fans might want to see. The 41-year old also mentioned a rematch with Quinton Jackson as a possibility pending the outcome of Jackson’s bout against Ryan Bader at UFC 144.
With Henderson on the record the ball now appears to be in the UFC’s court. What match-up they’ll throw back remains to be seen though, clearly, “Hendo” is ready for the challenge as long as it makes sense and fans are interested in seeing it go down.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE