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UFC 151: Is Dan Henderson Hiding a Training Injury?

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  (R-L) Dan Henderson connects with a right to Mike Bisping during their middleweight bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterOctober 2, 2016

Yesterday the MMA Twitterverse exploded with some shocking news. Or "nearly news." Let's call it educated speculation.

Light heavyweight challenger Dan Henderson, it seemed, was injured. No one could point to a source on the record, but the cryptic tweets were everywhere. Everyone in the MMA media went into scramble mode, trying to be the first to get official news on the situation.

Our own Jeremy Botter was in the middle of it all:

If what I'm hearing is correct, UFC 151 may be in desperate need of a main event. And that sucks.

— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) August 23, 2012

 

So was UFC announcer Kenny Florian:

Hearing that we may have some disappointed @ufc fans soon due to some unfortunate circumstances for an upcoming card. 😔

— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) August 23, 2012

 

Henderson, however, wasn't going gently into that good night. Later that evening he posted a tweet of his own, thanking a group of training partners for a great workout.

Just got done with a great training session with the boys. @cyrillediabate @tarecfighter @heathlsims @rfbjj @rockholdmma

— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) August 23, 2012

 

So, just another fake rumor. Had Henderson put fears to rest?

No so fast. The plot thickened. One of the fighters Henderson mentioned training with in his tweet was Tarec Saffiedine. That in itself is not unusual.

What is strange? Earlier that same evening, presumably during this alleged workout, Saffiedine tweeted that he hadn't seen Henderson since his own fight for Strikeforce last week and that he hoped the injury rumor wasn't true.

@matthawryluk94 havent seen him since my fight. Idk, hope its not true!!

— Tarec Saffiedine (@tarecfighter) August 23, 2012

 

What to make of all this? It's definitely a tough one to parse. Sources say Henderson indeed injured his knee grappling more than a week ago. Henderson coach Ricardo Feliciano tweeted a picture on August 12 of Henderson sparring with Luke Rockhold, wearing what appears to be a brace on his right knee.

It's fascinating to watch a rumor like this develop in real time. It's a product of our new "new media," a different way of doing business in the age of Twitter and social media. Is the MMA legend hurt? Will he be able to fight against Jon Jones? No one can say for certain. But when the news breaks, rest assured that it will happen on Twitter.

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