The Danward Spiral

The Danward Spiral

December 4th, 2010—Dan Henderson def. Renato Sobral via KO
March 5th, 2011—Dan Henderson def. Rafael Cavalcante via KO

June 30th, 2011—Dan Henderson def. Fedor Emelianenko via KO

November 11, 2011—Dan Henderson def. Mauricio Rua via Unanimous Decision

April 21, 2012—Dana White announces Dan Henderson will fight Jon Jones at UFC 151.

August 23, 2013—Dan Henderson announces a knee injury will keep him from fighting at UFC 151.

February 23, 2013—Lyoto Machida def. Dan Henderson via Split Decision

June 15, 2013—Rashad Evans def. Dan Henderson via Split Decision

November 9, 2013—Vitor Belfort def. Dan Henderson via KO

Dan Henderson just suffered the first knockout of his career, and it wasn’t pretty. It’s tough to say where Hendo goes from here. Barely a year ago, the former champ had rattled off four straight wins to secure a title shot against Jon Jones. After a knee injury forced him from the bout, Henderson accrued three disappointing defeats. The losses to Machida and Evans were closely contested snorefests, but the knockout to Belfort provides cause for concern.

Seventeen years of warring savagery have emptied Hendo’s war chest. His waning endurance, sluggish H-Bomb, and failing chin have trapped him in a truly compromising position—he’s good enough to beat almost anyone, but not great enough to conquer the best.

The loss to Belfort places Henderson in a limbo I’ll call “Couturitory” (named after retired Hall of Famer, Randy Couture). “Couturitory” is a purgatory where former greats meander before eventually retiring. Randy spent four of his final five fights in “Couturitory” against Minotauro, Vera, Coleman, and Toney before Machida ultimately sent him packing. Unfortunately for Henderson, Father Time is forcing him down a similar path.

I have no problem with Hendo spending the twilight of his career in “Couturitory”, but danger will emerge if he continually wades beyond his shallowing depths. The far side of “Couturitory” contains but one thing—”Liddellitory”. If Hendo can’t stop himself before treading those waters, I hope those around him can.

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