The former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion is training hard to formulate a game plan that will bring a halt to Jones’ dominant light heavyweight title reign. At 41 years old, Henderson knows better than most that victories can come not only from training hard, but from training smart. “Hendo” and Team Quest have analyzed Jones’ game on every possible level and have come up with a game plan that reflects what they feel are his weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Henderson is best known for his crucifying knockout power and trademark overhand right. The move have knocked many men out cold and while the California native will undoubtedly be throwing the punch against Jones, he says landing the ‘H-Bomb’ isn’t his sole focus for the fight. In fact, Henderson went into detail with a group of reports at the recent UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas and explained how his focus gainst Jones at UFC 151 is to win every round, not headhunt with the ‘H-Bomb’.
“My focus is to win every round, not to land the ‘H-Bomb’. But if I hit him pretty good along the way hopefully it knocks him out. I do need to make sure I get inside his length and stay in his face and make him fight me. That’s going to be nice to be able to knock him out, but I never depend on it. It’s something that, you know, I try to make sure I win every round and control the fight whether I have to take it to the ground, stay on my feet, on the outside or in the clinch. I’m sure I won’t be on the outside a whole lot with Jon Jones, I’ll feel like one of those little kids, you push your hand out there and you can’t hit him. So I’ve just got make sure I get past his reach.”
“A lot of people that think (he’s unbeatable) have never fought before. They see what he’s done from the outside and, you know he’s done well with his style but I fee like he’s never fought anyone like me and with my style it really, you know, I think goes well for me against someone like him. He’s still young and unorthodox, I think that’s his biggest asset and, you know but he’s young and sloppy a bit. He still has a lot to learn in this sport technically and those are the things, I just need to make sure I stay in position and not catch some goofy elbow.”
As he enters the twilight of his career, this fight against Jones is very likely Henderson’s last chance at winning UFC gold. He failed twice before in back-to-back attempts against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Anderson Silva, but stated he has learned from those fights and is doing everything he can to avoid making the same mistakes.
Henderson is one of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen. Whether he defeats Jones or not, his resume is undoubtedly Hall-of-Fame worthy. However, “Hendo” has let it be known on multiple occasions that winning a UFC title is the lone unfulfilled goal of his career. He is a significant underdog in the fight, but if anyone has what it takes to defeat the young champion, it’s Dan Henderson.
UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson goes down Saturday, Sept. 1 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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