Dan Henderson is evidently quite serious about doing whatever it takes to earn another shot at UFC gold. Just days after his rematch war with and KO over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua on Sunday, Henderson has offered to replace injured middleweight champion Chris Weidman against Lyoto Machida in the main event of May's UFC 173 in what would have to be considered a title eliminator match.
Weidman injured his knee and will require a surgery that UFC officials have announced will simply postpone his scheduled title defense against Machida to July. Henderson, ever eager to scrap, offered a different suggestion to UFC president Dana White through twitter, however.
— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) March 25, 2014
Henderson's gameness and greatness can never be questioned, and this latest offer to step up is just another example of both. However, Henderson has sustained KO-level head trauma in both of his last two fights (he got dropped and stiffened twice by Rua on Sunday before landing his own right hook) and, after a lifetime in combat, his health would likely be better served by retirement than by last-minute replacement bouts.
Surely, it wouldn't be safe for Henderson to jump right back into a camp after his last fight. Hopefully no athletic commission would sanction such a quick turn around in this instance, even if the UFC decides to change course and book Henderson vs. Machida II (Henderson lost a close decision to "The Dragon" in Feb. 2013).
In any case, Hendo wouldn't be Hendo if he wasn't always willing to fight the world's best on any notice, no matter the weight class or consequences. We may shake our head at this move for threat to Henderson's health but we can't help but also salute the former two-divison world champion.