Dan Henderson with his pair of Pride belts.


Henderson knocks Michael Bisping unconscious at UFC 100.

Dan Henderson is the retired former Pride welterweight (185 lbs.) and middleweight (205 lbs.) champion. He is the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight (205 lbs.) champion.

He entered the UFC with the belts and unified them against first light-heavyweight (205 lbs.) champion Quinton Jackson, losing via unanimous decision, and then middleweight (185 lbs.) champion Anderson Silva, losing by submission.

Heading to Strikeforce Edit

Henderson is perhaps most remembered for his devastating knockout of Michael Bisping at the landmark UFC 100 event in what would be his last fight in the UFC before heading to Strikeforce to challenge Jake Shields for the middleweight (185 lbs.) title. Shields defeated Henderson via dominant decision in perhaps the most embarrassing loss of Henderson's career.

He was next expected to fight in the Strikeforce middleweight tournament to decide the number-one contender for the title. Instead, he next faced former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Renato Sobral at 205 lbs. He knocked out Sobral brutally in the first round to likely earn a title shot against Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Rafael Cavalcante.

Henderson next faced Cavalcante, also known as 'Feijao', for the belt. He defeated Cavalcante via third-round knockout to become the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion and silenced the doubters.

He next moved up to heavyweight for a super fight against former Pride heavyweight champion and legend -- Fedor Emelianenko. He defeated Fedor via controversial first-round TKO.

Return to the UFC Edit

Dan next returned to the UFC's light-heavyweight division in a five-round non-title fight against former UFC light-heavyweight champion and fellow Pride veteran Mauricio Rua. Henderson and Rua both emerged from the twenty-five minute war with visible facial damage. Henderson took home the controversial unanimous decision victory. Many thought it should have been a draw.

Nevertheless, fans could agree on one thing: Henderson's fight against "Shogun" Rua was one of the best in MMA history. It was certainly Fight of the Year for 2011. With the victory, Henderson very possibly earned his shot against the intimidating UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the spring of 2012. At this time, he also turned down a possible rematch with fellow Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and he was also called out by former UFC light-heavyweight champion and most recent Jones victim Lyoto Machida.

Henderson was next set to face Jon Jones at UFC 151 in September 2012. Unfortunately Henderson injured his knee before the bout was scheduled to happen. He was first going to be replaced by teammate Chael Sonnen and then he was replaced by former opponent Vitor Belfort. No one was sure what Henderson's contender status in the UFC light-heavyweight division had become.

After recovering, Henderson next signed to face former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in a number-one contender matchup. Machida defeated Henderson via a controversial and relatively uneventful split decision, dashing Henderson's title hopes for the time being.

Henderson's management next stated that they wanted Henderson to fight a rematch against Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Other possible matchups included a fight against former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and a rematch against Mauricio Rua. Unfortunately Henderson was out for at least six months with a fractured right hand that apparently had happened in training before the Machida fight and had been worsened during it.

He would be out until August 2013 at the earliest and September/October at the latest. During this layout -- in March 2013 -- Henderson's next matchup was all but confirmed. The general consensus would be that he would return to fight his third consecutive former UFC light-heavyweight champion and Jon Jones victim in Rashad Evans. Henderson fought Evans losing a close and less than exciting split decision.

After a few months, Henderson was rumored to be connected to a possible rematch with former UFC light-heavyweight champion and middleweight contender Vitor Belfort. Indeed the fight was confirmed to be taking place at light-heavyweight. Belfort handed Henderson his first knockout loss via headkick and punches in the first round.

Henderson was next forced to take a serious paycut in his contract renegotiatons before signing for a rematch with Mauricio Rua. After a rough first two rounds Henderson knocked out Rua in the third round with a thunderous right hand.

Henderson was next rumored to fight undefeated former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Dan Cormier. The fight did indeed take place with Cormier dominating it completely before choking Henderson unconscious with a third round rear-naked choke submission.

Drop to Middleweight Edit

Henderson next dropped down to 185 pounds, losing quickly by technical knockout to contender and former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi.

Henderson then fought Tim Boetsch, knocking Boetsch out in a mere twenty-eight seconds.

He then decided to sign up for a rubber match with Vitor Belfort losing via another first round headkick knockout. The third fight actually lasted only three seconds longer than the second fight.

Henderson next fought a grudge match against former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard. After a very rocky first round Henderson scored a highlight reel second round headkick knockout.

With the victory Henderson earned a rematch against UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. During the buildup to the fight Henderson stated that it would be his last MMA fight and that he would retire afterwards win or lose.

Henderson put on a - in a word - incredible performance in the fight, dropping Bisping twice in the first two rounds and regaining a second wind to arguably win the fifth round as well. Unfortunately Bisping was pronounced the winner via unanimous decision but Henderson absolutely did not lose that fight. He kept his promise and retired from the sport of mixed martial arts afterwards, echoing the words of Randy Couture.

"Not bad for an old man."

Not bad indeed Dan.