Dan Henderson

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Dan Henderson
BornDaniel Jeffery Henderson
(1970-08-24) August 24, 1970 (age 42)
Downey, California, U.S.
Other namesHendo,[1] Dangerous,[2] Hollywood
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[3]
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach71 in (180 cm)
Fighting out ofTemecula, California
TeamTeam Quest (1999 - present)
RAW (1997 - 1999)
WrestlingOlympian Greco-Roman Wrestling
NCAA Division I Wrestling
Years active1997 – present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout13
By submission2
By decision14
By submission3
By decision6
UniversityCal State Fullerton
Arizona State University
Notable school(s)Victor Valley High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: September 21, 2011 (2011-09-21)
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Dan Henderson
BornDaniel Jeffery Henderson
(1970-08-24) August 24, 1970 (age 42)
Downey, California, U.S.
Other namesHendo,[1] Dangerous,[2] Hollywood
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[3]
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach71 in (180 cm)
Fighting out ofTemecula, California
TeamTeam Quest (1999 - present)
RAW (1997 - 1999)
WrestlingOlympian Greco-Roman Wrestling
NCAA Division I Wrestling
Years active1997 – present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout13
By submission2
By decision14
By submission3
By decision6
UniversityCal State Fullerton
Arizona State University
Notable school(s)Victor Valley High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: September 21, 2011 (2011-09-21)
Dan Henderson
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's Greco-Roman wrestling
Pan American Championships
Silver1994 Mexico City-82 kg
Bronze1998 Winnipeg-85 kg
Gold2000 Cali-85 kg
World Cup
Silver1994 Kecskemet-82 kg
Silver1996 Colorado Springs-82 kg
Pan American Games
Bronze1995 Mar del Plata-82 kg

Daniel Jeffery Henderson, (born August 24, 1970) is an American mixed martial artist and former Olympic wrestler, who competes as a middleweight and light heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was the last Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and was the last Welterweight 183 lb (83 kg; 13.1 st) and Middleweight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st) champion of Pride Fighting Championships. He was the only mixed martial artist to concurrently hold two titles in two different weight classes in a major MMA promotion. Henderson is also the UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Winner, the 1997 Brazil Open Lightweight Tournament Champion, the RINGS King of Kings 1999 Tournament Winner, and the 2005 PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix Champion. He is known for having extremely devastating knockout power in his right hand and never being knocked out or stopped due to strikes in 37 professional fights over his 15 year career. As of December 2012, Henderson is ranked the #2 light heavyweight by Sherdog.[4]



Dan Henderson was born in Downey, California and grew up in Apple Valley, California.[5] He attended Victor Valley High School[6] in Victorville, California, and earned medals at the California State Wrestling Championships in 1987 and 1988. He was a member of the 1987 Victor Valley High School wrestling team state champions. Henderson went on to wrestle at both Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State University, participating in the 1993 NCAA championships.[7] He represented the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling.[8]

Mixed martial arts career

He began training in mixed martial arts in 1997, when he joined the Real American Wrestling team (RAW).[9]

Early career and Ultimate Fighting Championship

In his first year of MMA competition, Henderson won the Brazil Open, a four-man heavyweight tournament. Just one year later, he won the UFC 17 tournament, defeating Allan Goes and Carlos Newton. In his next MMA fights, Henderson competed in an open-weight tournament, facing heavyweights for the first time in his professional career. The tournament consisted of notable competitors such as Renzo Gracie, Jeremy Horn, Valentijn Overeem, Alistair Overeem and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Maurice Smith. Henderson defeated five opponents over the course of two events to claim the 1999 RINGS King of Kings title. He won two fights on October 28, 1999 in Tokyo, Japan, to qualify for the finals, and then beat Gilbert Yvel, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Renato Sobral on the evening of February 26, 2000, to win the tournament.

PRIDE Fighting Championships

Henderson later began competing in Pride Fighting Championships, fighting primarily in the middleweight (205 lb) division. In Pride, Henderson competed against many of the sport's elite fighters, including Wanderlei Silva, Renzo Gracie, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Murilo Rua, Murilo Bustamante, Yuki Kondo, Ryo Chonan and Akihiro Gono.

When Pride began its Bushido brand, Henderson won their first welterweight 183 lb (83 kg; 13.1 st) tournament, defeating Ryo Chonan and Akihiro Gono by knockout, and then defeating Bustamante by split decision in the finals to capture the welterweight title. At Pride Bushido 10, Henderson defeated Kazuo Misaki by unanimous decision after hurting him with strikes on numerous occasions. Henderson later entered the second Pride Welterweight Grand Prix, losing by decision in a rematch with Misaki.

Henderson's final Pride bout was a rematch with Wanderlei Silva at Pride 33 in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 24, 2007, where he scored a knockout victory to become Middleweight Champion, while still holding his Welterweight title. Henderson became the first fighter to simultaneously hold titles in two different weight classes in a major MMA organization.

UFC return

On September 8, 2007, Henderson returned to the UFC to face light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 75 in London, England. In a closely contested fight that saw Henderson impose his will early, Jackson controlled the later rounds and won a five-round unanimous decision to retain his title and gain the Pride middleweight title.

On November 17, 2007, it was announced during the post fight at UFC 78 that Henderson would fight UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to unify the Pride welterweight (183 lb) and UFC middleweight (185 lb) championships. UFC 82 took place on March 1, 2008 and was held at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Despite winning the first round, Henderson lost via submission at 4:52 of the second round by rear naked choke.

Henderson bounced back from his inauspicious start in the UFC with a victory over Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88, winning by unanimous decision. It was his first win in the UFC in over ten years. After the bout, Henderson laughed and said, "Hopefully I don't have to wait that long before I get my next win."

Henderson returned to the light heavyweight division to face former UFC Middleweight champion Rich Franklin on January 17, 2009, at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland. Henderson won the fight via a split decision following an eye-poke in the third round that many, including Franklin himself, thought was intentional. He was subsequently selected to lead Team U.S. on season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, with Michael Bisping coaching the opposing Team UK.

Coaching The Ultimate Fighter and aftermath

The reality TV show, which spawned a feud between the two coaches that continued until their fight, aired on Spike TV and premiered on April 1, 2009, with the live finale on June 20, 2009 in Las Vegas.

On July 11, 2009 at UFC 100 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Henderson and Bisping settled their differences with their fists, culminating with Henderson becoming the first man to knock Bisping out, doing so in the second round with a right hook to the jaw as Bisping was circling to Henderson's right. This win put Henderson back into contention for a title shot at the UFC Middleweight Champion. The knockout punch also won Henderson a $100,000 bonus for "Knockout of the Night", and is considered one of the greatest knockouts in the history of the sport.

Controversy arose from the fight due to Henderson immediately following up his knockout punch with a flying forearm-drop to the prone Bisping's head shortly before referee Mario Yamasaki ended the fight at 3:20.[10]

After UFC president Dana White said Henderson had made those comments in jest, Henderson clarified stating, "When you're in the heat of the moment, the ref hadn't stopped me yet, who knows what's going to happen, if he's going to recover. I really only hit him twice, once on my feet, once on the ground. I didn't keep going. I didn't go after him after the ref tried to stop me, it was nothing like that. It was a reaction of mine to keep going until I was stopped—and you know, it did feel good though."[11]


Dan Henderson signed a four-fight, 16-month deal with Strikeforce on December 5, 2009, after his contract expired with the UFC. Henderson made his Strikeforce debut on April 17, 2010 at Strikeforce on CBS against Jake Shields.[12] He was also eyed for a light heavyweight match against Gegard Mousasi,[13] and expressed interest in eventually fighting Fedor Emelianenko at some point during his contract.[14] Henderson lost his Strikeforce debut to Jake Shields. Despite hurting Shields and knocking him down in the 1st round, Henderson went on to lose by unanimous decision. The majority of the last rounds were spent on the ground where Shields controlled the fight via grappling. (49–46, 49–45, 48–45).

Henderson faced Renato Sobral on December 4, 2010 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu.[15] Henderson won the fight via KO at 1:53 of the first round.

Henderson defeated Rafael Cavalcante via third round TKO for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship at Strikeforce 32. After two rounds in which all three judges had the score tied 19-19, Henderson dropped Cavalcante with his famed right hand in the third before referee Dan Miragliotta called the fight off at the 0:50 mark.

Henderson fought Fedor Emelianenko on July 30, 2011 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson.[16][17] Many had speculated that Henderson would meet Fedor at a catch weight, but Strikeforce later confirmed the fight as a heavyweight bout. Henderson said, “Its tough for me to gain weight. I did weightlifting and plenty of eating; I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. I’m not going to feel outmatched or small in there.”[18] He had to step on the scales weighing at least 206 pounds in order to qualify for the heavyweight division, and weighed in at 207. Fedor weighed in a bit below his normal weight, with the scale reading 223 pounds.[19] Henderson defeated Emelianenko via KO[20][21][22] at 4:12 of the 1st round. It was also noted that this was the last fight under Henderson's current Strikeforce contract. Henderson expressed that he would like to re-sign in order to defend his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.

Third UFC Run

Shortly after the UFC 133 pre-fight press conference, Dana White commented on the potential to bring Henderson back to the UFC for a third go-around. “We’ll see what happens,” White said on Thursday in Philadelphia. “‘Hendo and I have had some history in dealing. We’ll see if we can figure something out and get him back in the UFC.”[23] Later Henderson commented, “I think the biggest fight they could promote is probably a title unification with whoever is the champ in the UFC.”[24]

Henderson faced Maurício Rua on November 19, 2011 at UFC 139 for his third run in the UFC.[25] He won the bout via unanimous decision. The back and forth action earned both fighters Fight of the Night honors, and was described by many as one of the greatest fights in UFC history.[26][27]

UFC President Dana White announced during the post-fight press conference of UFC 145 that Henderson would be the next opponent for Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.[28]

The bout with Jones was expected to take place on September 1, 2012 at UFC 151.[29] However, Henderson withdrew from the fight citing a knee injury, and the remainder of the fight card was cancelled.[30]

Henderson faced Lyoto Machida on February 23, 2013 at UFC 157.[31] He lost the bout via split decision. Soon after Lyoto defeated Dan Henderson he stated he would be interested in another fight due to Jones already being scheduled to fight Sonnen, but would prefer if it were at catchweight or perhaps even middleweight

Personal life

Dan Henderson is part Welsh, Scottish, French and Native American.[32] He grew up on a ranch in Apple Valley, California. He started wrestling at a young age and started being noticed as a relentless competitor. When he entered high school he placed on the wrestling team with his brother Tom at Victor Valley High, which was coached by Sam Gollmyer and assisted by their father Bill Henderson and Joe Barrios.[citation needed] Henderson has been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy after being diagnosed with low testosterone levels in 2007.[33]

Henderson was coached by Bob Anderson, of the California Jets (now a defunct organization). He placed second at the California State Wrestling Championship in 1987 and Victor Valley won the team title. In 1988, he placed fifth in the state finals and several months later won national crowns in both freestyle and Greco Roman at the Junior Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa.[citation needed]

According to the March 2007 Confederated Umatilla Journal: "Henderson's grandmother, Alice (Bergevin) LeJune, is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes and owns land on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. From all accounts, Henderson is 1/16 Walla Walla Native American." In the interview Henderson commented: "Now I know I'm Walla Walla. It's refreshing to find some of those things out. I look Indian and I knew I had some, but I didn't know what tribe or exactly how much. It will be good to be able to tell my kids about their heritage."[34]

Team Quest

Dan Henderson is an owner of Team Quest Fitness Gym located in Murrieta, California.

As of February 28, 2011, Henderson is in litigation over the Team Quest trademark with former teammate Matt Lindland.[35]

Championships and awards

Mixed martial arts

  • Brazil Open Fight
    • Brazil Open 1997 Lightweight Tournament Winner
  • MMAFighting
  • MiddleEasy
    • 2011 Frate Trane of the Year

Amateur wrestling

  • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
    • 2000 Henri Deglane Challenge Senior Greco-Roman Bronze Medalist
    • 2000 Pan American Championships Senior-Greco Roman Gold Medalist
    • 1999 Nordvest Cup Senior Greco-Roman Bronze Medalist
    • 1998 Henri Deglane Challenge Senior Greco-Roman Bronze Medalist
    • 1998 Pan American Championships Senior Greco-Roman Bronze Medalist
    • 1998 FILA Test Tournament Senior Greco-Roman Gold Medalist
    • 1998 Tropheo Milone Tournament Senior Greco-Roman Gold Medalist
    • 1998 Vehbi Emri Tournament Senior Greco-Roman Silver Medalist
    • 1997 Concord Cup International Senior Greco-Roman Silver Medalist
    • 1997 Gold Medal Challenge Senior Greco-Roman Gold Medalist
    • 1996 World Cup Senior Greco-Roman Silver Medalist
    • 1995 Pan American Games Senior Greco-Roman Bronze Medalist
    • 1995 Sunkist Kids International Open Senior Greco-Roman Gold Medalist
    • 1994 World Cup Senior Greco-Roman Silver Medalist
    • 1994 Pan American Championships Senior Greco-Roman Silver Medalist
    • 1990 FILA Wrestling World Championships Junior Greco-Roman Gold Medalist
    • 1984 Pan American Championships Senior Greco-Roman Silver Medalist
  • USA Wrestling
    • USA Senior Greco-Roman Olympic Team Trials Winner (1992, 1996)
    • FILA Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials Winner (1994, 1997)
    • FILA Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials Runner-up (1999, 2001)
    • USA Senior Greco-Roman National Championship (1993, 1994, 1997)
    • USA Senior Greco-Roman National Championship Runner-up (2000)
    • USA University Greco-Roman National Championship (1991, 1993, 1994)
    • USA Junior Greco-Roman National Championship (1988)
    • USA Junior Freestyle National Championship (1988)
    • 1999 Mini-Tournament at World Team Trials Senior Greco-Roman Gold Medalist
  • Amateur Wrestling News Magazine
    • 1990 Amateur Wrestling News Freshman All-American

Mixed martial arts record

Loss29–9Brazil Lyoto MachidaDecision (split)UFC 15702013-02-23February 23, 201335:00Anaheim, California, United States
Win29–8Brazil Maurício RuaDecision (unanimous)UFC 13902011-11-19November 19, 201155:00San Jose, California, United StatesFight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2011).
Win28–8Russia Fedor EmelianenkoKO[38][21][39](punch)Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson02011-07-30July 30, 201114:12Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United StatesHeavyweight Bout.
Win27–8Brazil Rafael CavalcanteTKO (punches)Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson02011-03-05March 5, 201130:50Columbus, Ohio, United StatesWon the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship. Later vacated title.
Win26–8Brazil Renato SobralKO (punches)Strikeforce: St. Louis02010-12-04December 4, 201011:53St. Louis, Missouri, United StatesStrikeforce Light Heavyweight title eliminator.
Loss25–8United States Jake ShieldsDecision (unanimous)Strikeforce: Nashville02010-04-17April 17, 201055:00Nashville, Tennessee, United StatesFor the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
Win25–7United Kingdom Michael BispingKO (punch)UFC 10002009-07-11July 11, 200923:20Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesUFC Middleweight title eliminator; Knockout of the Night; Knockout of the Year (2009).
Win24–7United States Rich FranklinDecision (split)UFC 9302009-01-17January 17, 200935:00Dublin, IrelandLight Heavyweight bout.
Win23–7Brazil Rousimar PalharesDecision (unanimous)UFC 8802008-09-06September 6, 200835:00Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Loss22–7Brazil Anderson SilvaSubmission (rear-naked choke)UFC 8202008-03-01March 1, 200824:50Columbus, Ohio, United StatesFor UFC Middleweight & Pride Welterweight Championship; Fight of the Night.
Loss22–6United States Quinton JacksonDecision (unanimous)UFC 7502007-09-08September 8, 200755:00London, EnglandFor UFC Light Heavyweight Championship & Pride Middleweight Championship.
Win22–5Brazil Wanderlei SilvaKO (punch)Pride 3302007-02-24February 24, 200732:08Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon the Pride Middleweight Championship
Win21–5Brazil Vitor BelfortDecision (unanimous)Pride 3202006-10-21October 21, 200635:00Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesLight Heavyweight bout.
Loss20–5Japan Kazuo MisakiDecision (unanimous)Pride Bushido 1202006-08-26August 26, 200625:00Nagoya, Aichi, JapanPride 2006 Welterweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win20–4Japan Kazuo MisakiDecision (unanimous)Pride Bushido 1002006-04-02April 2, 200625:00Tokyo, Japan
Win19–4Brazil Murilo BustamanteDecision (split)Pride Shockwave 200502005-12-31December 31, 200525:00Saitama, JapanPride 2005 Welterweight Grand Prix Final; Won the Pride Welterweight Championship.
Win18–4Japan Akihiro GonoKO (punch)Pride Bushido 902005-09-25September 25, 200517:58Tokyo, JapanPride 2005 Welterweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win17–4Japan Ryo ChonanKO (punch)Pride Bushido 902005-09-25September 25, 200510:22Tokyo, JapanPride 2005 Welterweight Grand Prix Second Round.
Loss16–4Brazil Antônio Rogério NogueiraSubmission (armbar)Pride Total Elimination 200502005-04-23April 23, 200518:05Osaka, Osaka, JapanPride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Opening Round.
Win16–3Japan Yuki KondoDecision (split)Pride Shockwave 200402004-12-31December 31, 200435:00Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win15–3Japan Kazuhiro NakamuraTKO (shoulder injury)Pride 2802004-10-31October 31, 200411:15Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win14–3Brazil Murilo BustamanteTKO (punches)Pride Final Conflict 200302003-11-09November 9, 200310:53Tokyo, JapanPride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix Reserve Bout.
Win13–3Japan Shungo OyamaTKO (punches)Pride 2502003-03-16March 16, 200313:28Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Loss12–3Brazil Antônio Rodrigo NogueiraSubmission (armbar)Pride 2402002-12-23December 23, 200231:49Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
Loss12–2Brazil Ricardo AronaDecision (split)Pride 2002002-04-28April 28, 200235:00Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Win12–1Brazil Murilo RuaDecision (split)Pride 1702001-11-03November 3, 200135:00Tokyo, Japan
Win11–1Japan Akira ShojiTKO (punches and knees)Pride 1402001-05-27May 27, 200133:18Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Win10–1Brazil Renzo GracieKO (punch)Pride 1302001-03-25March 25, 200111:40Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss9–1Brazil Wanderlei SilvaDecision (unanimous)Pride 1202000-12-09December 9, 2000210:00Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win9–0Brazil Renato SobralDecision (majority)King of Kings Tournament 199902000-02-26February 26, 200025:00Tokyo, JapanWon Rings King of Kings 1999 Tournament Final.
Win8–0Brazil Antônio Rodrigo NogueiraDecision (split)King of Kings Tournament 199902000-02-26February 26, 200035:00Tokyo, JapanRings King of Kings 1999 Tournament Semifinal.
Win7–0Netherlands Gilbert YvelDecision (unanimous)King of Kings Tournament 199902000-02-26February 26, 200025:00Tokyo, JapanRings King of Kings 1999 Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win6–0Japan Hiromitsu KaneharaDecision (majority)King of Kings Tournament 199901999-10-28October 28, 199925:00Tokyo, JapanRings King of Kings 1999 Tournament 2nd Round.
Win5–0Georgia (country) Bakouri GogitidzeSubmission (knee to the ribs)King of Kings Tournament 199901999-10-28October 28, 199912:17Tokyo, JapanRings King of Kings 1999 Tournament Opening Round.
Win4–0Canada Carlos NewtonDecision (split)UFC 1701998-05-15May 15, 1998115:00Mobile, Alabama, United StatesUFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Final. Won the UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament.
Win3–0United States Allan GoesDecision (unanimous)UFC 1701998-05-15May 15, 1998115:00Mobile, Alabama, United StatesUFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win2–0United States Eric SmithTechnical submission (guillotine choke)Brazil Open '9701997-06-15June 15, 199710:30Brazil
Win1–0Brazil Crezio de SouzaTKO (punches)Brazil Open '9701997-06-15June 15, 199715:25Brazil

Championship titles

Preceded by
Pat Miletich
UFC 17 UFC Middleweight Tournament winner
May 15, 1998
Succeeded by
Kenichi Yamamoto
New championshipPride FC Welterweight Tournament winner
December 31, 2005
Succeeded by
Kazuo Misaki
New championship1st Pride FC Welterweight Champion
December 31, 2005 – March 1, 2008
Title Unified with UFC Middleweight Championship
Preceded by
Wanderlei Silva
2nd Pride FC Middleweight Champion
February 24, 2007 – September 8, 2007
Title Unified with UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Preceded by
Rafael Cavalcante
6th Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion
March 5, 2011 - September 19, 2011
Henderson signed with the UFC


2006The King of QueensPriority Plus DriverTV Series (Episode: "Fight Schlub")
2005CubedHimselfTV Series
2012Dragon EyesBeating Police OfficerFilm


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