Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport
Dan Henderson unloads his signature overhand right at UFC 161
What can you really say to justify the successes of a man like Dan Henderson?
Olympic wrestler, National Greco-Roman champion, simultaneous holder of two Pride Fighting Championship belts—Henderson's accolades can make your head spin. That's said without giving due credit to his penchant for knocking out anyone willing to gamble with his overhand right.
But like all good techniques, the "H-Bomb" was bound to be defused after enough attempts to set it off. Somewhere along the way, Henderson's opponents learned the tricks of his trade—he paws with the left, throws the overhand right, rinses and repeats.
It certainly doesn't help that he's opted to use his wrestling almost exclusively for defensive purposes. At the UFC 161 post-fight press conference, Henderson was asked to comment on Evans' inability to get the takedown.
He humorously interrupted the question by saying. "Well, I've wrestled before, too." That may be the case but he's consciously avoiding opportunities to use that wrestling pedigree to its full potential.
For Henderson, it seems to be a matter of going overhand right or going broke.
In that sense, his greatest strengths might possibly have become his undoing. The sport evolves at a startling rate—hybrid fighters strive to utilize all available techniques.
Where does that leave a formulaic slugger like Dan Henderson?
Later in the press conference, he fielded a question on future plans:
I've got a couple of trips planned with my kids this summer, so I'd like to at least have a summer this year. And then get back in there before the end of the year.
He answered honorably and admirably, electing to emphasize that personal life and time with loved ones are invaluable concerns in your early 40s.
By the time he returns, the Light Heavyweight division may have undergone another stage of evolution. Henderson may need to rest on his laurels, find happiness in his list of monumental achievements and begin to accept that a UFC championship may never be a part of his late-career time line.