Dan Henderson Gives His Uncensored Thoughts on Your Favorite MMA Fighters

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst IApril 14, 2010

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 17:  Legendary MMA Superstar and two time Olympic Wrestler Dan Henderson attends the CBS' Strikeforce MMA Fighters Open Media Workout on March 17, 2010 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

In part one of Bleacher Report's recent interview with Dan Henderson, he spoke about his upcoming fight with Jake Shields, his departure from the UFC, and joining Strikeforce.

In part two, the MMA legend gives his thoughts on some of his former opponents as well as some of the top fighters in the sport today.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report):
Dan, I'd like to get your thoughts on some of your past opponents and other fighters in the sport right now. The first person I'd like to ask you about is Rich Franklin.

Dan Henderson: Rich is a tough fighter and very good guy. I didn't like the way he whined about the fact that he thought he won our fight. I didn't think the fight was that close and there was no reason to complain about it.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

Dan Henderson: Rampage has changed a lot. Things have gotten in his head. He's not the same guy he used to be. As a fighter, when he gets himself in shape and ready to go—I felt like he was in the best shape of his life when I fought him—he hasn't been in that proper condition since. He's a tough guy, but that being said I thought I beat him in our fight.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): Anderson "The Spider" Silva.

Dan Henderson: Anderson is obviously very talented and very well rounded in MMA. I'm not sure what to say about him. I feel like either him or his management team have been able to manipulate who he fights since he's been in the UFC. Somehow he always avoids the tougher match-ups for himself and manages to get the easier match-ups for himself.

He did a good job when we fought the first time. I would have liked another shot at that. Who knows, maybe I'll get another shot with him in the future.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): How much does it bother you that you didn't get another shot against him?

Dan Henderson: I felt like my body wasn't quite there that night. I felt a little flat. I was in great shape, but I wasn't myself that night. I would have liked a chance to fight him when I was feeling good. That's no fault of his on how I was feeling. I feel I could definitely do better and that doesn't sit well with me.

Had I lost to him that night and felt 100 percent I'd have no problem with the loss, but knowing that I could do better is what bothers me. It would have been nice to have that opportunity but who knows what will happen in the future.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): What do you think about another Silva, Wanderlei Silva?

Dan Henderson: Wanderlei has been around a long time and he's tough. He's a good guy and has been good for the sport. It's always fun to watch him fight.

It seems like he's lost a little bit of his aggression. Maybe being knocked out two or three times has made him a little gun-shy. It would have been nice to see him a little bit more aggressive and see how things turned out in that fight with Bisping.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): Let me ask you about the Strikeforce Light-heavyweight champion, Gegard Mousasi. How much do you know about him?

Dan Henderson: He seems like a very good guy. He doesn't talk a lot of smack, is very relaxed in the cage, and is a very good fighter. He's a guy I would love to get into the cage with and see how things go.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): Fedor Emelianenko.

Dan Henderson: He seems to have got that reputation of being unbeatable. No one is unbeatable. He's like a big version of me, I guess.

I'd love to have that fight with him eventually if things work out right.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): How would you handle him in the cage if you two ever had the chance to fight?

Dan Henderson: I'd probably have to take him into at least the third or fourth round to try and wear him out a little bit. I'd put him on his back, and try and get him out of his comfort zone. He's comfortable almost anywhere it seems like.

I'd make him work a little harder those first couple rounds and try not to get hit real hard by him.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): The last fighter I want to ask you about was your opponent at UFC 100, Michael Bisping.

Dan Henderson: I think the fans have seen who he is and how he is just by how he was on The Ultimate Fighter show. I don't see him any differently than how he was portrayed. He's got a big mouth and likes to talk a lot. Hopefully one day he'll mellow out and grow up, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): Was knocking him out the most satisfying win of your career?

Dan Henderson: No, it wasn't. He didn't have the reputation of being of a top fighter or being a dangerous fighter. He just had the reputation of having a big mouth and being very arrogant. In that way, yeah, it was very satisfying. But overcoming a bigger challenge, I've had much more satisfying fights. Wanderlei being one of them.

Jesse Motiff (Bleacher Report): Dan, thank you so much for your time and best of luck to you in your fight with Jake Shields.

Dan Henderson: Alright, thank you.



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