Friday, August 31, 2012

Dan Henderson wants to return by year's end, says it's a "shame" UFC 151 was canceled

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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"They did find an opponent, but I guess it was one [Jon Jones] didn't wanna fight. It's a shame the whole card had to be scrapped because of that. It's an injury that I honestly thought I'd be able to work through and fight a little bit injured. I may not have been one hundred percent, but I thought I'd be close. After a couple of weeks of trying to push through it, it was apparent that I wouldn't even be close to a hundred percent. I'd like to shoot for that December 29 show, and I'm pretty sure I'd be ready to go by then. I can guarantee that I will retire...one day. I don't know when."

-Dan Henderson talks to Inside MMA on AXS TV about the UFC 151 cancellation, his knee injury, and when he expects to return (transcribed by MMAMania.com).

Penick's Analysis: Just to stop one line of thinking off the bat here, there wasn't a particular fighter Jones "didn't wanna fight." He didn't want to risk losing his title to anyone other than the man he was preparing for in Dan Henderson, not on eight day's notice. Agree or disagree with that frame of thinking, it had nothing to do with the opponent and everything to do with the late change. Indeed, he and his camp made it clear they'd fight Sonnen at UFC 152 if that's the fight the UFC wanted. That's not the fight the UFC went with, and that's not on Jones. Back to Henderson, timing could work out well to have him still fight Jones by year's end, if the UFC wants to stack the final event of the year. That is something they've done in the past, and after getting burned on UFC 151, and with both Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos having been injured into their first bout, they may be more apt to pull out this time around when it's not on Fox. Stacking that event is the UFC's best bet right now.

[Dan Henderson art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_14252.shtml

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