By: Mike Samuels
When you think of warriors in the octagon, these two have to come to mind. The challenger Dan Henderson has been in some wars in his career. He has a championship pedigree, and the man is a legend in the sport. Henderson is great fighter and is always up for any challenge. In this fight “Hendo” will be pushed to his limits. Jon Jones is the champion that no one has been able to figure out. Up to this point, he has fought the best that the 205lb division has to offer and he has beaten them all but one. Jones was DQed in his match against Matt Hamill, a fight that he was clearly winning when he was disqualified. He has run through the division.
When I think of Dan Henderson and Jon Jones in the octagon, I see an older fighter who is looking for that last big fight that will let him go out at the top of his game or what he thinks is the top of his game. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Hendo does not have a chance, but in this case I think that he is overmatched in this late quest for the Light Heavyweight title. Now, with his punching power in both hands, there is always puncher’s chance to knock Jones out. Henderson is not a submission kind of guy. He will try and knock you out most times. In order for him to beat Jones he will have to bring something new out of his old bag of tricks.
Jon Jones will come into this fight like he always does with a game plan that employs the skills that he has in his arsenal and show us the fans another fight strategy that no one has ever seen. That is one of the things that make him hard to train for is, he does not fight the conventional fight. Only he knows what he is going to at any given moment. Getting in close enough to hit him is virtually impossible. He has the longest reach in UFC history at 84.5 inches. That reach keeps him from getting hit and with the addition of his long legs that employs keeps people from taking him down. Henderson is not fast enough to take Jones down. Jones also throws techniques from weird angles.
I do not see this fight as being an exciting fight, for either fighter unless one of those strange occurrences happens to change the whole outlook or outcome of the fight. Both have Greco Roman wrestling in their backgrounds so that in itself makes for good strategy for both fighters. Jones is young and has a long career ahead of him and Henderson is coming down to the end of his and if he loses could very well be his last fight. Knowing the competitor that Henderson is, I would not count him out losing or ending his career.
I am looking forward to seeing what Henderson comes up with to beat the Champion Jones. UFC 151 has some great fights lined up on the undercard also including: Michael Johnson vs. Danny Castillo and Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Hougland.