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For the academic, see Dan Fenno Henderson. For the American hockey player, see Dan Henderson (sledge hockey). American Olympic wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter Dan HendersonBornDaniel Jeffery Henderson
Daniel Jeffery Henderson (born August 24, 1970) is a retired American mixed martial artist and Olympic wrestler, who last competed as a middleweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was the last Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and was the last Welterweight (83 kg (183.0 lb)) and Middleweight (93 kg (205.0 lb)) champion of Pride Fighting Championships. Henderson was the Brazil Open '97 Tournament Champion, the UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Champion, the Rings: King of Kings 1999 Tournament Champion and the Pride Welterweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion. Henderson also challenged for the UFC Middleweight Championship (2x), the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship. Henderson was the first mixed martial artist to hold two titles in two different weight classes concurrently in a major MMA promotion. At the time of his retirement after UFC 204, he was the oldest fighter on the UFC roster. Henderson is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters of all-time, having defeated a total of twenty-one MMA world champions across four major MMA promotions (UFC, PRIDE FC, Strikeforce, and RINGS).Contents
Dan Henderson was born in Downey, California and grew up in Apple Valley, California. He competed in freestyle wrestling, but is much better known for his achievements in Greco-Roman wrestling.
He attended Victor Valley High School in Victorville, California, and earned medals at the California State Wrestling Championships in 1987 and 1988. He placed second in 1987 and fifth in 1988. He was a member of the 1987 Victor Valley High School wrestling team state champions. In 1988 Henderson became a national junior champion in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.
After high school Henderson delayed pursuing a college wrestling career, yet he would go to wrestle a season each at Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) and Arizona State University (ASU). He qualified for the 1993 NCAA championships.
In Greco-Roman wrestling Henderson became the university national champion in 1991, 1993, and 1994. He was the national champion at the senior level in 1993, 1994, and 1997. He represented the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics and placed 10th and 12th, respectively.
Henderson competed at the World Wrestling Championships in 1994 and 1997, placing 12th and 7th respectively. Other notable accomplishments include a bronze medal at the 1995 Pan American Games and a gold medal in the 2000 Pan American Championships. At this competition Henderson upset Luis Enrique Méndez in the final.
Henderson failed to qualify for the 2000 Olympics. He reached the 2001 world team trials finals, but was defeated by Matt Lindland, and after that focused on an MMA career.
Henderson was also assistant wrestling coach at Cerritos College during the 1990s.Mixed martial arts career
Henderson began training in mixed martial arts in 1997, when he joined the Real American Wrestling team (RAW).Brazil Open Tournament
1997 saw Henderson make his debut in MMA, following in the footsteps of other wrestlers who were finding success in the sport. Henderson entered the Brazil Open Lightweight Tournament, which had a weight limit of 176 pounds, the lightest Henderson would ever compete at. It was a one-night tournament, featuring four competitors. Also competing was Brazilian Vale Tudo legend, Jose Landi-Jons. After two relatively quick finishes, Henderson won the championship.UFC 17
Less than one year later, Henderson entered his second MMA tournament, also a four-man tournament to be completed in one night. This time however, the weight limit was 199 pounds. UFC 17 would mark the start of Henderson's on-again off-again relationship with the UFC, which would span nearly two decades. He defeated Allan Goes and Carlos Newton in closely contested contests to earn his second MMA tournament championship. A punch delivered from Newton in their fight broke Henderson's jaw, but he continued fighting through it.Rings: King Of Kings
About eighteen months later, Henderson entered his third MMA tournament. This time the number of competitors was 32, and there was no weight limit for any of the fighters. The tournament would be held over the course of two nights. The first two rounds were held in late 1999, while the final three were in early 2000. The tournament was full of many notable competitors, and Henderson faced Gilbert Yvel, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Renato Sobral. Despite weighing in at 199 pounds, and routinely being outweighed by more than 30 pounds, Henderson won all five of his fights, and became the Rings: King of Kings Tournament 1999 champion.PRIDE Fighting Championships This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2011)
Henderson began competing in Pride Fighting Championships in late 2000. He entered in three tournaments for the organization, winning the Welterweight (183 pounds) tournament at Pride Shockwave 2005 by defeating Murilo Bustamante by split decision. The opening two rounds of the eight-man tournament were fought at Pride Bushido 9, at which Henderson knocked out both Ryo Chonan and Akihiro Gono. Along with this tournament victory, he was awarded the Pride Welterweight Championship.
In 2006, Henderson lost a decision in a rematch against Kazuo Misaki. It was the first time in that he had lost a fight to an opponent who was under 205 pounds. Henderson's final Pride bout was a rematch with Wanderlei Silva at Pride 33 in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 24, 2007, at which he scored a knockout victory to become Middleweight Champion (205 pounds), while still holding his Welterweight title. Henderson became the first fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously in a major MMA organization. Overall, Henderson went 13–5 with Pride, with eight victories coming by stoppage.UFC return
On September 8, 2007, Henderson returned to the UFC to face light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 75 in London, England. In a closely contested fight that saw Henderson impose his will early, Jackson controlled the later rounds and won a five-round unanimous decision to retain his title and gain the Pride middleweight title.
On November 17, 2007, it was announced during the post fight at UFC 78 that Henderson would fight UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to unify the Pride welterweight (183 lb) and UFC middleweight (185 lb) championships. UFC 82 took place on March 1, 2008 and was held at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Despite winning the first round, Henderson lost via submission at 4:52 of the second round by rear naked choke.
Henderson bounced back from his inauspicious start in the UFC with a victory over Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88, winning by unanimous decision. After ten years in the sport, it was his first UFC victory. After the bout, Henderson laughed and said, "Hopefully I don't have to wait that long before I get my next win."
Henderson returned to the light heavyweight division to face former UFC Middleweight champion Rich Franklin on January 17, 2009, at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland. Henderson won the fight via a split decision following an eye-poke in the third round that many, including Franklin, thought was intentional. He was subsequently selected to lead Team U.S. on season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, with Michael Bisping coaching the opposing Team UK.Coaching The Ultimate Fighter and aftermath
The reality TV show, which spawned a feud between the two coaches that continued until their fight, aired on Spike TV and premiered on April 1, 2009, with the live finale on June 20, 2009 in Las Vegas.
On July 11, 2009 at UFC 100 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Henderson and Bisping fought, culminating in Henderson becoming the first man to knock Bisping out, doing so in the second round with an overhand right to the jaw as Bisping was circling to Henderson's right. This win put Henderson back into contention for a title shot at the UFC Middleweight Champion. The knockout punch won Henderson a $100,000 bonus for "Knockout of the Night" and is considered one of the greatest knockouts in the history of the sport.
Controversy arose from the fight due to Henderson immediately following up his knockout punch with a flying forearm-drop to the undefended Bisping's head shortly before referee Mario Yamasaki ended the fight at 3:20.
Immediately after the fight, Henderson stated that "I hit him hard, but I got that last blow in just to shut him up a little bit." After UFC president Dana White said Henderson had made the comment in jest, Henderson clarified by stating, "When you're in the heat of the moment, the ref hadn't stopped me yet, who knows what's going to happen, if he's going to recover. I really only hit him twice, once on my feet, once on the ground. I didn't keep going. I didn't go after him after the ref tried to stop me, it was nothing like that. It was a reaction of mine to keep going until I was stopped—and you know, it did feel good though."Strikeforce
Dan Henderson signed a four-fight, 16-month deal with Strikeforce on December 5, 2009, after his contract expired with the UFC. Henderson made his Strikeforce debut on April 17, 2010 at Strikeforce on CBS against Jake Shields. He was also eyed for a light heavyweight match against Gegard Mousasi, and expressed interest in eventually fighting Fedor Emelianenko at some point during his contract. Henderson lost his Strikeforce debut to Jake Shields. Despite hurting Shields and knocking him down in the 1st round, Henderson went on to lose by unanimous decision. The majority of the last rounds were spent on the ground where Shields controlled the fight via grappling. (49–46, 49–45, 48–45).
Henderson faced Renato Sobral on December 4, 2010 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu. Henderson won the fight via KO at 1:53 of the first round.
Henderson defeated Rafael Cavalcante via third-round TKO for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship at Strikeforce 32. After two rounds in which all three judges had the score tied 19–19, Henderson dropped Cavalcante with his famed right hand in the third before referee Dan Miragliotta called the fight off at the 0:50 mark.
Henderson fought Fedor Emelianenko on July 30, 2011 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. Many had speculated that Henderson would meet Fedor at a catch weight, but Strikeforce later confirmed the fight as a heavyweight bout. Henderson said, "Its tough for me to gain weight. I did weightlifting and plenty of eating; I don't know what else I'm supposed to do. I'm not going to feel outmatched or small in there." He had to step on the scales weighing at least 206 pounds in order to qualify for the heavyweight division, and weighed in at 207. Fedor weighed in a bit below his normal weight, with the scale reading 223 pounds. Henderson defeated Emelianenko via KO at 4:12 of the 1st round. This was the last fight on Henderson's Strikeforce contract. Henderson said he would like to re-sign to defend his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.Third UFC run
Shortly after the UFC 133 pre-fight press conference, Dana White commented on the potential to bring Henderson back to the UFC for a third go-around. "We'll see what happens," White said on Thursday in Philadelphia. "'Hendo and I have had some history in dealing. We'll see if we can figure something out and get him back in the UFC." Later Henderson commented, "I think the biggest fight they could promote is probably a title unification with whoever is the champ in the UFC."
Henderson faced Maurício Rua on November 19, 2011 at UFC 139 for his third run in the UFC. He won the bout via unanimous decision. The back and forth action earned both fighters Fight of the Night honors, and was described by many as one of the greatest fights in UFC history.
UFC President Dana White announced during the post-fight press conference of UFC 145 that Henderson would be the next opponent for Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.
The bout with Jones was expected to take place on September 1, 2012 at UFC 151. However, Henderson withdrew from the fight citing a knee injury, and the remainder of the fight card was cancelled.
Henderson faced Lyoto Machida on February 23, 2013 at UFC 157. He lost the bout via split decision.
Henderson faced Rashad Evans on June 15, 2013 in the main event at UFC 161. He lost via split decision.
Henderson faced Vitor Belfort in a rematch on November 9, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 32. Henderson defeated Belfort in their first encounter in 2006 at Pride 32 via unanimous decision. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round, marking the first time in his MMA career that he had been stopped due to strikes. The match with Belfort was the last fight of Henderson's contract with UFC. On January 22, Henderson revealed to UFC Tonight that he signed a new, six-fight contract with the UFC.
In January 2014, a rematch with Maurício Rua was announced to take place on March 23, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 38. Despite losing the first two rounds after being knocked down by Rua, Henderson rallied back in the third round and won the fight via TKO due to punches. The win also earned Henderson his third Fight of the Night bonus and first Performance of the Night bonus.
Making a quick return to the cage, Henderson faced a much larger Daniel Cormier on May 24, 2014 at UFC 173. He lost the fight via submission (technical submission/rear-naked choke) in the third round after being out-wrestled and held down on the bottom for the majority of the fight.
On November 12, 2014, the UFC announced that Henderson would move down to Middleweight to face Gegard Mousasi on January 24, 2015 in the co-main event at UFC on Fox 14. He lost the fight via TKO in the first round.
Henderson faced Tim Boetsch on June 6, 2015 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 68. He won the fight via knockout at 28 seconds of the first round.
Henderson faced Vitor Belfort in a rubber match in the main event at UFC Fight Night 77. He again lost the bout via a combination of head kick and punches.
A rematch with Lyoto Machida was expected to take place at Middleweight on April 16, 2016 at UFC on Fox 19. However, on April 13, the UFC announced that Machida declared the usage of a banned substance during an out-of-competition sample collection last week. Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited both in and out of competition. Therefore, he was removed from the bout and Henderson was re-booked for another event at a later date.
Henderson was quickly rescheduled to face Hector Lombard on June 4, 2016 at UFC 199. He won the fight via knockout in the second round via a head kick followed by a reverse elbow and earned himself a Performance of the Night bonus, as well as becoming the first fighter to knock Lombard out cold.
Henderson faced then UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping, in a rematch on October 8, 2016 at UFC 204. Despite dropping and nearly finishing Bisping in both the first and second round, he wound up losing the back and forth fight via unanimous decision. Both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance. At the conclusion of the fight, Henderson confirmed his intention to retire from fighting.
Dan Henderson will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at the UFC Fan Expo on July 5 into the Fight Wing, alongside Maurício Rua for their fight in 2011, which Henderson won by Unanimous Decision (48-47 x3).Personal life
Henderson grew up on a ranch in Apple Valley, California. He started wrestling at a young age and started being noticed as a relentless competitor. When he entered high school he placed on the wrestling team with his brother Tom at Victor Valley High, which was coached by Sam Gollmyer and assisted by their father Bill Henderson and Joe Barrios. He is of Native American, English, Scottish and French descent. Henderson had previously been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) after being diagnosed with low testosterone levels in 2007. However, TRT has no longer been allowed in UFC competition since 2014. After TRT was banned, Henderson said that he quit using TRT "cold turkey".
Henderson was coached by Bob Anderson, of the defunct California Jets. He placed second at the California State Wrestling Championship in 1987 and Victor Valley won the team title. In 1988, he placed fifth in the state finals and several months later won national crowns in both freestyle and Greco Roman at the Junior Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
According to the March 2007 Confederated Umatilla Journal: "Henderson's grandmother, Alice (Bergevin) LeJune, is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes and owns land on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. From all accounts, Henderson is 1/16 Walla Walla Native American." In the interview Henderson commented: "Now I know I'm Walla Walla. It's refreshing to find some of those things out. I look Indian and I knew I had some, but I didn't know what tribe or exactly how much. It will be good to be able to tell my kids about their heritage."Team Quest
Dan Henderson is an owner of Team Quest Fitness Gym located in Temecula, California.
As of February 28, 2011, Henderson is in litigation over the Team Quest trademark with former teammate Matt Lindland.Championships and awards Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record Professional record breakdown 47 matches 32 wins 15 losses By knockout 16 3 By submission 2 4 By decision 14 8 Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes Loss 32–15 Michael Bisping Decision (unanimous) UFC 204 October 8, 2016 5 5:00 Manchester, England For the UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night. Win 32–14 Hector Lombard KO (kick and elbows) UFC 199 June 4, 2016 2 1:27 Inglewood, California, United States Performance of the Night. Loss 31–14 Vitor Belfort KO (head kick and punches) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3 November 7, 2015 1 2:07 São Paulo, Brazil Win 31–13 Tim Boetsch KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson June 6, 2015 1 0:28 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Loss 30–13 Gegard Mousasi TKO (punches) UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs. Johnson January 24, 2015 1 1:10 Stockholm, Sweden Return to Middleweight. Loss 30–12 Daniel Cormier Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 173 May 24, 2014 3 3:53 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Win 30–11 Maurício Rua KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2 March 23, 2014 3 1:31 Natal, Brazil Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night. Loss 29–11 Vitor Belfort KO (head kick) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson November 9, 2013 1 1:17 Goiânia, Brazil Loss 29–10 Rashad Evans Decision (split) UFC 161 June 15, 2013 3 5:00 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Loss 29–9 Lyoto Machida Decision (split) UFC 157 February 23, 2013 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States Win 29–8 Maurício Rua Decision (unanimous) UFC 139 November 19, 2011 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Return to Light Heavyweight. Fight of the Night. Win 28–8 Fedor Emelianenko TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson July 30, 2011 1 4:12 Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States Heavyweight bout. Win 27–8 Rafael Cavalcante TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson March 5, 2011 3 0:50 Columbus, Ohio, United States Won the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship. Win 26–8 Renato Sobral TKO (punches) Strikeforce: St. Louis December 4, 2010 1 1:53 St. Louis, Missouri, United States Return to Light Heavyweight. Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title eliminator. Loss 25–8 Jake Shields Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Nashville April 17, 2010 5 5:00 Nashville, Tennessee, United States For the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship. Win 25–7 Michael Bisping KO (punch) UFC 100 July 11, 2009 2 3:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States UFC Middleweight title eliminator. Knockout of the Night. Knockout of the Year (2009). Win 24–7 Rich Franklin Decision (split) UFC 93 January 17, 2009 3 5:00 Dublin, Ireland Light Heavyweight bout. Win 23–7 Rousimar Palhares Decision (unanimous) UFC 88 September 6, 2008 3 5:00 Atlanta, Georgia, United States Loss 22–7 Anderson Silva Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 82 March 1, 2008 2 4:52 Columbus, Ohio, United States For the UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night. Loss 22–6 Quinton Jackson Decision (unanimous) UFC 75 September 8, 2007 5 5:00 London, England For the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Win 22–5 Wanderlei Silva KO (punch) Pride 33 February 24, 2007 3 2:08 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the Pride Middleweight Championship. Win 21–5 Vitor Belfort Decision (unanimous) Pride 32 – The Real Deal October 21, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Light Heavyweight bout. Loss 20–5 Kazuo Misaki Decision (unanimous) Pride – Bushido 12 August 26, 2006 2 5:00 Nagoya, Japan Pride 2006 Welterweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal. Win 20–4 Kazuo Misaki Decision (unanimous) Pride – Bushido 10 April 2, 2006 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Win 19–4 Murilo Bustamante Decision (split) Pride Shockwave 2005 December 31, 2005 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan Pride 2005 Welterweight Grand Prix Final. Won the Pride Welterweight Championship. Win 18–4 Akihiro Gono KO (punches) Pride Bushido 9 September 25, 2005 1 7:58 Tokyo, Japan Pride 2005 Welterweight Grand Prix Semifinal. Win 17–4 Ryo Chonan TKO (punches) Pride Bushido 9 September 25, 2005 1 0:22 Tokyo, Japan Pride 2005 Welterweight Grand Prix Second Round. Loss 16–4 Antônio Rogério Nogueira Submission (armbar) Pride Total Elimination 2005 April 23, 2005 1 8:05 Osaka, Japan Pride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Opening Round. Win 16–3 Yuki Kondo Decision (split) Pride Shockwave 2004 December 31, 2004 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan Win 15–3 Kazuhiro Nakamura TKO (shoulder injury) Pride 28 October 31, 2004 1 1:15 Saitama, Japan Win 14–3 Murilo Bustamante TKO (punches) Pride Final Conflict 2003 November 9, 2003 1 0:53 Tokyo, Japan Pride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix Reserve bout. Win 13–3 Shungo Oyama TKO (punches) Pride 25 March 16, 2003 1 3:28 Yokohama, Japan Loss 12–3 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (armbar) Pride 24 December 23, 2002 3 1:49 Fukuoka, Japan Loss 12–2 Ricardo Arona Decision (split) Pride 20 April 28, 2002 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan Win 12–1 Murilo Rua Decision (split) Pride 17 November 3, 2001 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Win 11–1 Akira Shoji TKO (punches and knees) Pride 14 – Clash of the Titans May 27, 2001 3 3:18 Yokohama, Japan Win 10–1 Renzo Gracie KO (punch) Pride 13 – Collision Course March 25, 2001 1 1:40 Saitama, Japan Loss 9–1 Wanderlei Silva Decision (unanimous) Pride 12 – Cold Fury December 23, 2000 2 10:00 Saitama, Japan Win 9–0 Renato Sobral Decision (majority) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final February 26, 2000 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Rings' King of Kings 1999 Tournament Final. Win 8–0 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (split) 3 5:00 Rings' King of Kings 1999 Tournament Semifinal. Win 7–0 Gilbert Yvel Decision (unanimous) 2 5:00 Rings' King of Kings 1999 Tournament Quarterfinal. Win 6–0 Hiromitsu Kanehara Decision (majority) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block A October 28, 1999 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Rings' King of Kings 1999 Tournament 2nd Round. Win 5–0 Bakouri Gogitidze Submission (knee to the body) 1 2:17 Rings' King of Kings 1999 Tournament Opening Round. Win 4–0 Carlos Newton Decision (split) UFC 17 May 15, 1998 1 15:00 Mobile, Alabama, United States UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Final. Win 3–0 Allan Goes Decision (unanimous) UFC 17 May 15, 1998 1 15:00 Mobile, Alabama, United States UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Semifinal. Win 2–0 Eric Smith Technical Submission (standing guillotine choke) Brazil Open '97 June 15, 1997 1 0:30 Brazil Won the Brazil Open 1997 Lightweight Tournament. Win 1–0 Crezio de Souza TKO (punches) Brazil Open '97 June 15, 1997 1 5:24 Brazil Submission grappling record 2 Matches, 2 Losses (2 Submissions) Result Rec. Opponent Method Event Division Date Location Loss 0-2 Jon Jones Submission (arm-triangle choke) Submission Underground 2 Superfight December 11, 2016 Portland, OR Loss 0-1 Frank Shamrock Submission (heel hook) The Contenders Superfight October 11, 1997 Sioux City, IA Championship titles Preceded by