It wasn’t long ago light heavyweight Dan Henderson was named as the division’s top contender, putting the iconic American in line for a shot at 25-year old wunderkind Jon Jones’ UFC belt. However, Henderson was forced out of the fight due to a knee injury and has since seen Chael Sonnen elevated to a title-shot despite a number of factors labeling him as anything BUT deserving of the opportunity.
While the development has certainly disappointed Henderson, the former PRIDE champ is back in the gym preparing for whatever opponent the UFC pairs him with.
“Whoever they put in front of me, I’ll fight, and I’ll make sure I beat him,” said Henderson in an interview with The MMA Hour.
The most likely candidate for Henderson’s next clash seems to be Lyoto Machida, a former UFC title-holder coming off a knockout win over Ryan Bader. Henderson has been linked to the match-up with Machida for some time, as “The Dragon” is in a similar position of being awarded a title-shot only to see Sonnen leapfrog him in line. The bout seems to be one Henderson is interested in for numerous reasons, one of which is to solidify his status as a challenger to the strap and bring back some legitimacy to the gold as well.
“I absolutely think it was a bad decision for the sport. It just makes the sport lose a little bit of integrity,” stated Henderson when asked about Sonnen’s crack at Jones’ championship.
For now, the 29-8 fan-favorite will continue recovering from his health-related woes and look to a fight in early 2013. Henderson is currently on a four-fight winning streak including success against Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE