MMA Analysis: Can Dan Henderson Return to UFC?

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Never say never, not just if you are James Bond but just don’t do it at all, odds are if you do – the opposite will happen. When he last parted ways with Dan Henderson, UFC president Dana White said about the fighter’s signing with Strikeforce, “He’ll probably retire over there.” After defeating Fedor and finishing his contract with the San Jose Company, White is looking at the 40-year-old again with optimism.

According to, Dana White told the media at a press conference for UFC 133 in Philadelphia yesterday that he would “See what happens…Dan and I have had dealings in the past and we’ll try to see if we can get him back in the UFC.”

Henderson back in the UFC seems like the best thing for a fighter in his position to do; although, he is already a decorated Olympian, multiple division and organizational champion and has defeated some of the best in the game today and to ever compete. If he hung up his gloves as a champion and the only man to finish Fedor Emelianenko, nobody would be scoffing at his decision.

The Team Quest fighter has been tossing the idea around of getting back into the light heavyweight UFC group to challenge the winner of Jon Jones/ Rampage Jackson for a unification bout. Against Jackson, it could be a repeat of their initial meeting in 2007 where he lost via unanimous decision to Jackson; Jones would have the advantage of youth, unorthodox styles and talent that Henderson has not been against in sometime.

Losing in a bout to both of these men will probably be as close he can get to the championship. Jones has demonstrated the skill and commitment to learn in his sport to have dominance on the division; Jackson has experience and knockout power to dethrone the champ and also knows how to defeat Henderson.

Looking down the ranks, Rashad Evans is a decorated wrestler with powerful hands and matches up well against the Temecula fighter. The most interesting matchup outside of a championship bout would be, Tito Ortiz. If Ortiz can defeat Evans this Saturday night, the number one contenders match needs to be Ortiz vs. Henderson. Two former champions, strong wrestlers with good hands would be another classic fight both men are familiar to.

Signing again with UFC would allow him another run at a belt he unable to capture before, but the road is not as smooth as it was a few years ago. He will be remembered as a great and eventually be inducted into a hall of fame; until that time comes his biggest fight will be retirement or a championship in the biggest MMA stage in the world.

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