In a move that few didn’t see coming, Dan Henderson appears to be moving down in weight and will fight as a middleweight once again. This is according to Henderson’s muay thai coach, Daniel Woirin, who broke the news to MMA Fighting.
Henderson’s last bout at light heavyweight was a technical submission loss to Daniel Cormier. Henderson weighed in for the bout six pounds under the light heavyweight limit and was tossed around almost like a rag doll for the majority of the bout.
Henderson has fought the majority of his career at middleweight and made his name in the sport while fighting in the division.
Henderson’s exploits within the middleweight division include wins over Murilo Rua, Murilo Bustamante (twice), Yuki Kondo, Rousimar Palhares and Michael Bisping.
Henderson’s last bout at middleweight was an unsuccessful bid at Strikeforce’s middleweight title when he lost to Jake Shields. Henderson nearly finished Shields in the first round, but then had nothing left and was dominated for the bout’s remaining four rounds.
The last win at middleweight for Henderson was his famous knockout of Bisping at UFC 100.
Henderson’s fortunes at light heavyweight have been mixed to say the least.
In Rings, Pride Fighting Championships, UFC and Strikeforce, Henderson fought against light heavyweights. Henderson won the 1999 King of Kings tournament for Rings, did good against the light heavyweights in Pride, won the light heavyweight title in Strikeforce, but has sputtered since returning to UFC’s light heavyweight division in 2011.
Woirin also noted to MMA Fighting that Henderson “would like (to fight) by the end of the year.”
Anyone watching Henderson’s bout with Cormier knew that it was the end for him at light heavyweight.
At age 43 with reflexes that have slowed and little in the way of wins or consistently good performances at light heavyweight, the only choices for Henderson following his most recent bout were to move down to middleweight or retire.
Now all that remains to be seen is who Henderson will fight in his return to middleweight.
Maybe fans of Henderson will get lucky and the final second wind to his career will take place in the division where it all started for him.