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Crazy Talk? Dan Henderson Could Give Jon Jones A Fight

Following his utter destruction of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Jon Jones looks as unbeatable as unbeatable gets in a sport where anything can happen at the drop of a dime. Rashad Evans is up next for Jones, but hardly anyone is giving him a chance. In fact, the oddsmakers, who were vindicated last night for controversially setting Jones as the 2-1 favorite over Shogun, already have Jones listed as a huge favorite over Evans (Jones -550 Evans +400 at BetDSi). Rashad says he knows how to fight Jones thanks to their training sessions at Greg Jackson’s, but that road runs both ways. Jones knows Evans’ tricks just like Evans knows his.

Maybe Rashad shocks us all and gives Jones the fight of his life, but let’s assume the oddsmakers are right. Let’s assume Jones walks right through Rashad Evans like he’s walked through everyone else he’s fought in the UFC.

Who’s next after Rashad?

Dana White says he doesn’t have a clue. A lot of people, including Lorenzo Fertitta, want Anderson Silva, but that’s more or less a pipe dream at this point, according to Dana. Some might say Rampage Jackson or Lyoto Machida, but does anyone honestly see either of them faring any better than Shogun? Eh, not me.

Well, here’s a crazy idea: How about Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson?

Yes, Dan Henderson is undersized, overmatched and old enough to be Jones’ father. I’ll give you that. He would have a heck of a time dealing with Jones’ reach, and God forbid what might happen if Jones got on top of him like Jake Shields did.

What Hendo has that every other light heavyweight doesn’t though is an Olympic-caliber Greco-Roman wrestling game. Maybe Jones really is too big and too strong in the clinch for him to handle, but if anyone can stifle Jones’ unearthly clinch game, it’s Dan Henderson. Plus, Hendo can end anyone’s night in an instant with the dynamite in his right hand, and his iron chin should at least buy him enough time for a couple chances at dropping his “H-bomb,” as Mauro Ranallo proudly coined it earlier this month.

Look, I’m not saying Dan Henderson would win. I’m not even saying that I would pick Dan Henderson to win. But at this point we’re talking about a fighter who seems to be so far ahead of the pack, we’re not even looking for someone who can beat him. We’re merely trying to find someone that could conceivably give him an honest fight. All I’m saying is if there’s any light heavyweight in the world that could give Jon Jones that fight, it’s Dan Henderson.

As they say, styles make fights.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime

  • JacobBerezansky

    I see, Rampage, Randy Couture, and Forrest Griffin as as-good-as opponents. Henderson’s wrestling wasn’t good enough to get Shields off of him for 20+ whole minutes or even take Shields down that much. Jones would crush him, but I have to admit… Who really poses a threat to this kid? I’d watch the fight.

    • Ed Lib

      Griffin? I like tha guy, but he needs a lot more than he´s shown on Franklin´s fight.

      Lyoto is the one. I could bet on Belfort aswell if he tries to go up to 205 lb.

      Like I said, Rampage is a good name, and Thiago Silva needs at least one more victory to reach the title shot.

  • Warriordave927

    i dont see why henderson would be mentioned and coture would be over looked,he may not have the “h-bomb” in his arsenal but the guy is an awesome wrestler,i think coture with another 2 wins including over machida could find himself in line for another title shot depending on how rampage vs hamil and davis vs nogueira goes. i think phil davis can be a threat as well he has great wrestling but needs to work on his striking,outside of jones vs rashad and jones vs silva(if silva even wants to fight at 205) i think jones vs davis would be a pretty good fight

  • Danny_Trejo

    hey good thinking steve, never even crossed my mind about good ol hendo. I honestly believe he has the only (if any) chance against bones besides anderson, i cant think of anyone who would come close to beating the bones we seen last saterday

  • SteveBarry

    I didn’t mention Couture because he is so old and much closer to the end of his career than Dan Henderson. He was all but ready to retire when the Machida fight came about. Couture doesn’t have the chin or knockout power that Hendo has either. I don’t see how he could win.

  • sandman

    @JacobBerezansky Surprised you pulled Griffin’s name out of the hat as a worthy opponent for Jones. Griffin is decent on the ground but he would get destroyed before it got there, I would think. Griffin just kinda throws with reckless abandon…

  • Ed Lib

    You may not like Lyoto, but he can beat Jones.

    Rampage has to get in shape. If that happens, he´s got chances.

    And we´ll never know what can happen in a fight when we have the Axe Murderer in a cage! But he still needs some tune up fights!

  • i like sexy time

    The best option i can think of is fador coming down to 205 and he said he wanted to after the silva fight. I can see him beating jones. Anyone else i dont think so!

  • JacobBerezansky

    I think he’d lose too, but I say he has just as good of a chance as Henderson. He’s at least as big as Jones. Forrest has a few upsets under his belt too. @sandman

  • Ed Lib

    Jones will only be invencible when beats the entire division like GSP and Anderson.

    Till that, I agree that he´s just the new champion, with all his credits.

  • quardy

    I like to see Bones fight Gegard Mousasi or King Mo but until Strikeforce merge with the UFC (not a matter of if but a matter of when in my opinion) – I wouldn’t mind him fighting a non-roid out, well-conditioned Thiago Silva.

  • Warriordave927

    @i like sexy time fedors management said that fedor does not want to drop to 205

  • Warriordave927

    @Ed Lib that’s what I think too,if anything has been proven in the 205 lb division it is that there is to much talent,since chuck liddelle it has only been defended once by rampage and contraversially by machida

  • Warriordave927

    @quardy tests aren’t back yet for thiago,innocent until proven guilty, I would love to see thiago fight for the belt but he should probably fight rampage if he wins his fight,the winner of randy couture vs machidas,or maybe shogun to become a contender again

    • quardy

      Yeah, he should fight his way up to the belt of course…but I just want to see the damn fight happen. I think Silva can give Bones some problems. He is a large light heavyweight with excellent striking and submission skills. He’s wrestling needs some work but he did out grapple Vera.

      Like I want to see Condit fight GSP but he has to go through Stun Gun first then possibly Fitch/Kos or rematch with Shields might be interesting depending if Shields wins or losses. Well, the thing is I think Condit can give GSP some problems. Where as GSP has outwrestled the best wrestlers in the division already who apparently are #2 – #4 contenders in the division. Who wants to see GSP vs Fitch 3 or GSP vs Kos 5?

      Anyway, the discussion is looking for folks who might give Bones a problem not who is the #1, #2, or #3 contenders in the divisions are and imho Silva might be the person.

  • Matt Silliman

    It depends on Hendo’s conditioning. He certainly has the “tools” to beat anyone, but
    He is giving up a good amount of size and probably strength. Jones isn’t likely to KO Henderson with one punch, but if he gets top control it’s all but over. I think we are more likely to see jones fight heavyweights before we see him fight Silva. If jones can win his next 2 fight as easily as he has the last 5 then we might see a #1 contender fight at heavyweight.

  • Billdo

    Jones is now the “GSP” and “Anderson Silva” of his weight class. He will hold the belt for a long, long time. If you want to talk about who could give him a fight right now, you have to look at heavyweights. I’d say with Jones being only 23, there’s a good chance he may not always be able to make 205, so you never know…

    • Matt Silliman

      I agree, he already said in an interview a year ago that he wanted to get a title shot soon because he would eventually have to move to heavyweight. Both his brothers are massive and in sure jones can get to 250 or 265 with little difficulty.

  • WolfMan

    Dear Mr.”Editor/Writer” of this story:
    You say you cant see Rampage beating Jones, but you can see Hendo beating him..?
    Really…If my memory serves me correct, Quinton Rampage Jackson defeated Dan Henderson in a 5 ROUND championship bout.
    Beat him Handily might I add, (UNANIMOUS DECISION), So your logic is thrown right out the window. Why is Rampage always so disrespected and underrated..? Makes no sense to me. Im not saying that rampage will definitely beat him, but he has a great chance to do so. Thanks

    • Steve Barry

      Styles make fights. MMA Math has been proven time and time again to be flawed. Rampage is mainly a brawler at this point in his career with some defensive wrestling. I don’t see him overcoming Jones reach, and when he gets inside I don’t think he has the skills to hang with Jones in the clinch.

      I could be completely wrong of course. Rampage has knockout power too so yeah if hit Jones on the chin he could put him down, but I think Hendo has more tools to at least survive than Rampage.

    • Matt Silliman

      You can’t go by that logic. If so then rashad has a better chance than Rampage and Machida has a better chance than Rashad and Rampage better than Machida. That makes a circle with no real sense. Styles make match-ups and although Page has power and an iron jaw, he doesn’t have the technical wrestling back ground of Hendo. You argument makes sense, but match-ups make the fight.

  • Horrible Article

    This is the worst article I have ever read. Use your brain dumbass. Anderson whooped him. Why would Jones be any different. And Jones actually has a wrestling game. Thanks for giving me a good laugh though.

    • Matt Silliman

      Maybe you should watch the silva Hendo fight again. Henderson won the first round and completely controlled Anderson. However Hendo gassed in the second round which allowed Anderson to get that choke in. If Hendo had the dame conditioning as Sonnen then Hendo would have finished Anderson off. Or maybe I need to watch that fight again, but that’s how I remember it

    • Steve Barry

      Oh you’re very welcome Mr. Article. That’s very nice of you to say! :)

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  • Phace

    That’s ridiculous to put Hendo into a conversation about who can give Jones problems. Jones would annihilate him! Hendo is good, but come on now…All the other fighters mentioned in the article either CAN beat Hendo or already have beaten him. We won’t know how tough Jones truly is till he at least fights Rashad next fight. Shogun was his 1st true test(Bader was still up and coming) and we don’t even know how ready he was for that fight(not that he would have won if he was ready, but just an observation). We have to see him put in different sitations like we’ver seen with other champions like Silva and GSP before we give this “unbeatable” title out. (Didn’t many say that about Lesnar?)

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