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Jon Jones considers Dan Henderson a “challenge to rise up to”

UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones understands the importance of his upcoming UFC 151 meeting with Dan Henderson. Jones, who has successfully defended his title against three former UFC champions so far, will meet Henderson while nearing a record for successful defenses of the light heavyweight crown.

With so much on his shoulders, Jones is starting to understand completely what it’s like to be at the top of the divisional heap.

“(Henderson) doesn’t offer problems, but challenges to rise up to and it’ll be exciting,” explained Jones while appearing on Fuel TV’s post-fight show for UFC 150. “He’s got strong wrestling and a good overhand right, but nothing I haven’t seen before.”

After winning the belt with a stoppage victory over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Jones submitted both Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida. Earlier this year, he defeated former training partner Rashad Evans via decision.

While Rua, Jackson, Machida and Evans have impressive resumes, it’s possible that Henderson’s is even better. “Hendo” is a former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion, and an alternate for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team. He’s also defeated legends like Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

“He’s right up there. He ranks as high as anyone I’ve fought in the last year,” said Jones of Henderson’s accomplishments. “He’s been a champion of other organizations. He’s beat the best like Fedor and ‘Shogun.'”

Jones and Henderson will face off on September 1 in Las Vegas.