At 40 years old, few gave Dan Henderson a real shot at succeeding in Strikeforce after getting soundly defeated by Jake Shields at middleweight.
This was a huge upset, as Shields was expected to be soundly dominated by Henderson.
Would a move up to light heavyweight really add new life to Henderson’s waning career?
The answer remained ambiguous after “Dangerous Dan” knocked out an old rival in Renato Sobral, but many critics wrote off Sobral as a legitimate threat by the time of their December 2010 fight.
Nevertheless, Henderson was awarded a shot at the Strikeforce light heavyweight title for his efforts.
Then reigning champion Rafael Cavalcante was on a three fight win steak, and had come out victorious in six of his last seven fights.
Cavalcante was expected to be able to hang with Henderson’s KO power, with nine of his 10 professional wins coming by way of knockout.
For a while, this was the case. Through two rounds the judges had the score tied 19-19.
However, late in the third round, Cavalcante was on the receiving end of an H-Bomb, and lost his title after Henderson finished him off with some ground and pound.
This is the biggest victory of Henderson’s career since he showed he still has elite fighting skills at 40 years old, a rare sight to see in the sport.