Is Dan Henderson the greatest fighter of all time?

by Danny Acosta | source:

Jon Jones recently ascended to the top of some P4P ratings, for what it's worth. But in Dan Henderson is Jon Jones facing the greatest fighter in the history of the sport? Henderson has been fighting for 15 years in an 18 year old sport, and in the eyes of many, has earned first place.

MMAJunkie's Dany Acosta breaks down the arguments for Hendo's place in the pantheon.

Quality of wins:

Henderson beat 10 big-show champions: Carlos Newton, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Murilo Bustamante, Kazuo Misaki, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, Rafael Cavalcante, Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Comparatively, Anderson Silva, has wins over six champions.

Quality of losses:

Of Henderson's eight losses, only Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira have not held notable titles. Henderson also holds victories over three (Misaki, Wanderlei and Big Nog) of the opponents who defeated him.

None of the four fighters to best Anderson Silva wore a significant championship belt in his career.

The minuses:

The hang-up in calling Henderson the greatest all-time, is a March 2008 second-round rear-naked-choke defeat to Anderson Silva. Silva's 14-0 run through the UFC is a defining streak of longevity that has always eluded Henderson. After starting his career 9-0, Henderson's win column is almost entirely comprised of three- and four-fight win streaks, interrupted by one of eight career losses.

Henderson is 1-3 in his most recent title bouts. He fell to light-heavyweight champ "Rampage" via unanimous decision in September 2007, and tapped out to Anderson Silva six months later. He left the octagon for Strikeforce, where he was upset by middleweight champion Jake Shields.

The big plus:

Where Henderson surpasses Silva is in his divisional jumping. The significance in jumping up two weight classes to best the two greatest heavyweights of the generation Fedor Emelianenko and Big Nog) is a feat that cannot be understated.

Like Henderson, Silva has been successful in three weight classes, but with much less frequency.

The bottom line:

If Henderson stops Jones' ferocious title run comprised of former titleholders, there may be little controversy in calling him the greatest ever.

Read entire article...

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Recent Comments »

nhl ducks site profile image  

5/8/12 3:23 AM by nhl ducks

TTT for a few quality posts above.

ThinkMMA site profile image  

5/6/12 2:09 PM by ThinkMMA


CLINTK9 site profile image  

5/6/12 1:50 PM by CLINTK9

"I am willing to test myself against the toughest fighters in the world, in front of hundreds of thousands or even millions of fans, over and over again. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but I always come to fight. I've been doing this for the past fourteen years, and I have at least a few more strong years left in me. What have you done in the past fourteen years other than act like a moron on this forum and hang on Anderson's nuts?" - Dan Henderson.

Lazer MMA site profile image  

5/5/12 10:42 PM by Lazer MMA

Thanks bro. It is what it is!

nhl ducks site profile image  

5/5/12 7:51 PM by nhl ducks


nhl ducks site profile image  

5/5/12 7:51 PM by nhl ducks

Lazer knows what's up

Lazer MMA site profile image  

5/5/12 6:21 PM by Lazer MMA

Well I think u R wrong all over the place. Hendo has a bunch of decisions because he could not be finished and had a hard time finishing for much of his career. Other guys in the GOAT conversations were finishers for the most part. Hendo was in a lot of close fights.Now this below you wrote is crap pure and simple (in terms of the actual claims). At the end of the day, today more then ever we see guys on every side of a decisions! Never mind about the BS below. Huggers are adament that Franklin won! Well Hendo had it easy in Rd 1, Rd 2 was the close one. Hendo (with Ace slightly ahead) midway through Rd 2 got a TD and did enough to win the round pritty easy. No one (that I heard) even claimed a 10-8 in Rd 3. Hendo won the dam fight period. Shogun fight- Hendo did an enormous amount of major damage to Shogun (the measure of 'Clean and effective striking' per the origional MMA ReF. - BTW U can hear him on this and on why rd.5 was a 10-9 when Hendo was never in danger of being finished and hit with pitter patter. The Judges said the same- not enough damage to merit a 10-8)and recieved VERY little. Yet this was considerered a poor decision by many! Crazy as Hendo beat the living crap out of Shogun in the striking game when it mattered untill he gassed. Rd.4 was friggin close but I gave to to Shogyn for one BTW. I myself scored the fight with Big Nog a draw (I believe two judges did too BTW)but Rings rules (just not sure) may have favored Hendo."Plus, Hendo's fights with Newton, Goes, Kondo, Ninja, and Busta in the rematch, were certainly all at least controversial or widely-disputed outcomes at the time. They were certainly not definitive wins in reality."About the above the point is that 'only the Ninja fight drives fair people nuts'. Most smart MMA fans had no issue with UFC 17 decisions (he won the dam fights - some fans are on the other side always). Busta fight was so dam close no one was complaing that was not a hugger. Kondo I don't understand any issue. Now it's also a fact that Hendo did the only damage in the fight with Ninja. And Ninjs did take Dan down a few times, and was reversed too but never had Dan in danger. Understanding PRIDE rules you can see why Dan one. Lastly the first Babalu fight, Babalu himself had no problem at all with the decision, it seemsed clear Hendo had done a little more. There is always different opinions in decisions! Dan earned his wins.Latter he became more of a finisher.Having said all this I do not think a win makes Dan the GOAT. He remains in the conversation.All involved R still fighting. Stupid to take this up now IMO. In a few years we'll know the answer.

ds1970 site profile image  

5/5/12 5:38 PM by ds1970


nhl ducks site profile image  

5/5/12 5:33 PM by nhl ducks

Absolutely without a doubt Hendo has the most decorated resume in the history of MMA.

MrColdCock site profile image  

5/3/12 11:21 PM by MrColdCock

^Nog is above Hendo on my list.The problem with Hendo is that at absolutly no time during his 18 year career did anyone think he was the greatest at the time. At no time EVER did anyone stop and say "Right now Hendo is the best fighter in the world". How can a guy who at his very best would hang around the bottom 10 of the pound for pound lists be considered the greatest ever?He's had an amazing career. One of the best ever. I can't see how he can be the greatest ever, when he was the greatest never... (trademarking that bitch right now)Beating Jones changes everything though. Jones is considered by many, maybe most, to be the best fighter out there.