Former Olympic wrestler and professional mixed martial artist Dan Henderson has had an amazing career in the sport of MMA: competing in promotions of Pride (where he was the Welterweight and Middleweight Champion), Strikeforce (where he was the Light Heavyweight Champion) and the UFC with a combined record of 32 -14. On Saturday night, Henderson pulled off a major win against top dog, Hector Lombard in what appeared to be the biggest win of his career since Fedor Emelianenko. Henderson has expressed a possible retirement from the sport altogether.
Indeed Dan Henderson is by far one of the greatest MMA athletes to ever compete and has always been exciting to watch. It really looks like now is the time to finally hang the gloves up and leave a path for future competitors to follow.
One reason that could draw him into retirement is the fact that he is 45 years-old and if not already, then will very soon be leaving his prime level, which would begin to affect his performance and therefore have a great impact on his career where he will not be able to leave behind as strong of a legacy as he would if he retired now. Even for the fact that in his past nine fights he lost six of them, which just might be enough to show him that he is not the fighter he use to be. I mean you can’t put your body through the same kind of punishment forever because it is going to catch up to you later down the road.
The next reason has to do with the fact that the new generation of the UFC has exceeded his level of techniques and if he were to continue he would just be nothing more than any easy payday for most opponents. Especially in the middleweight and light heavyweight where he is best known for competing have both grown into for more intense weight classes. Henderson might not have the skills or the stamina to compete at that level of competition.
The final and perhaps the most important reason would be that his most recent bout was a major win over a top favorite Hector Lombard and with a major win like that it would only make sense to retire victorious. Even with the fact that Henderson was such a big underdog heading into the fight, many fans did not believe he was going to be able to survive this fight, but he proved to them that he still is capable of anything.
As of this writing, Henderson is still undecided if he will finally step away from the sport and focus on his next step in life. No matter what his decision will be, his fans will always support him as one of their own.