They say that timing and the stars aligning are everything in this cruel world, so after one chance fell completely through the cracks, will Dan Henderson ever get his shot at Jon Jones?
The answer to that question is made complex by the rumours (via MMAFighting.com) of Henderson possibly having to fight Lyoto Machida in the very near future. If that fight is signed, it says here that Machida is a terrible stylistic matchup for the veteran Henderson and could put an end to any future shot at Jones.
I just feel that Machida's in-and-out style would win a decision over Hendo, and the loss would be the end of his shot at the title. Obviously UFC matchmakers hold the big stick, but Henderson and his management should think long and hard about taking that fight right now.
Henderson is already the No. 1 contender to Jones' title in many people's eyes, and he earned it with a Fight of The Year against Shogun Rua.
The 42-year-old, future Hall of Famer is one of the few men who has earned the status to hold firm against the brass of UFC should they want him to take a fight with Machida. Henderson is never one to back down from a fight, but there is no benefit for him to go chasing Lyoto Machida around all night while eating strikes when he tries to engage.
If Henderson wants his shot at Jones, he should wait for TUF 17 and Jones vs. Sonnen to play out, heal up his knee to the extreme and challenge Jones after he stomps Sonnen. If Henderson can't hold off the UFC, who will want him to fight again, he should ask for another opponent other than the fleet of foot Machida, and work to get the shot with a win.
There are other fights out there for him like Rashad Evans or even Daniel Cormier since he wants a piece of Jones.
My guess is that Henderson will be forced to take the Machida fight, and all bets are off at him getting his shot at that point. Machida's style is kryptonite for Henderson, and there is no way he will get a shot at Jones after a loss. Jones already destroyed Machida oncem so what would he do to Henderson if Machida beat him in a decision? The interest that Jones versus Henderson has now would be lost.
There is still a demand for Jones versus Henderson and Hendo has nothing to gain from fighting again before he gets his one final shot at wearing UFC gold.
A man with the career of Dan Henderson has earned the right to turn down a risky matchup like Machida.
He has earned his right to wait for Jones. If he waits, he will get his shot.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA and guest blogger for Sportsnet.ca.
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