Friday, March 9, 2007

Dan Henderson Talks About His Future and Making History


Dan Henderson made history on February 24, 2007, when he defeated Wanderlei Silva at Pride’s second Las Vegas event entitled “Second Coming”. By knocking Silva out in their much anticipated rematch, Henderson became the first fighter to hold two titles in different weight classes simultaneously. Henderson sits on top of the food chain right and will have an interesting cast of upcoming challengers to face -- for either title. Here is what Henderson told ADCC News in regards to his history changing victory and who he would like to fight next.

ADCC: Dan talk about your rematch with Wanderlei. You broke your hand in the first and you were still relentless in your striking. How grueling was this fight?
DAN: The fight wasn’t that bad at all. The hand didn’t bother me. I knew it was broken, but I didn’t let it alter my game plan.

ADCC: You had a chance to talk to Wanderlei after the fight. What did you guys say to each other and what are the chances of us seeing a rubber match?
DAN: I understand that he is currently a free agent, so the chances of a rubber match depend on whether or not he returns to PRIDE, where I am under contract. If he does, I’d say that the prospect of a rubber match are very high.

ADCC: You became the first fighter to hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time. How much does this mean to you and was this one more special because you won it on US soil?
DAN: Redeeming myself against Wanderlei was the most important accomplishment to me. To do so for the middleweight title and in front of my family, friends and the American fans made it all the more special.

ADCC: The fans in Japan are great but the majority of the American fans are started to get more educated with mixed-martial-arts. How great was the crowd that night and how far have the American fans come since the early days?
DAN: American fans are coming along pretty well, but they’re not all there yet. I think I heard booing in the first round when Wanderlei was on top. As more fans understand the intricacies of submissions and grappling, they will continue to appreciate those aspects of the sport.

ADCC: You weren’t the only Team Quest member that competed that night, your teammate Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou made his Pride debut by defeating Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Were you surprised with his limited fight experience that he was able to win the way he did?
DAN: You never know what is going to happen until a fight starts, especially with a young fighter. That being said, nothing Thierry does surprises me. He is a beast in training, and we knew that it was a fight he could win if he executed the game plan we set for him. As everyone saw, that’s exactly what he did.

ADCC: Does Pride have any problems with you holding both titles or will you be able to defend each title?
DAN: PRIDE gave me the opportunity to win both titles, so I wouldn’t think that they have a problem with me holding two belts. I plan on successfully defending both titles this year. I really don’t have a preference as to the weight division at which I compete.

ADCC: The next big fight for you would be you taking on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. We know you’ll fight anyone, but how would that fight go down and is this the fight you want next?
DAN: I’m not sure how that fight would go down, I just know my hand will be raised at the end. In terms of who I want to fight next, it doesn’t really work like that. I asked for a re-match with Wanderlei, and it took six years for PRIDE to listen.

ADCC: Looking over your recent fights, you have only lost three times in the last four years. One a rematch to Kazuo Misaki and each of the Nogueira brothers. Any interest in avenging any of those losses?
DAN: It doesn’t really matter to me—I’m not really big on rematches, win or lose. I just like to test my skills against the top fighters in the world. Wanderlei was different—I wanted his belt, and I wanted to prove that I could beat him if I was in shape.

ADCC: Everyone wants to see Pride and the UFC put on a super show and unify the titles. Given the chance, would you fight Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell? How would you approach each fight?
DAN: I would love the opportunity to fight each of them. I think it would be a similar fight with both guys—a mixture of ground-and-pound and trading punches.

ADCC: Dan we really appreciate your time and congratulate you on your success. Do you have anything to say to your fans or sponsors?

DAN: I want to thank all of my fans for supporting me over the years, and all the MMA fans for helping this sport survive and sustain. I have a Team Quest gym ( in Murrieta, California, this is really growing right now, and I recently took over the Clinch Gear ( fight short brand, which is taking off, as well. So, I’m staying busy and am grateful for all the opportunities that MMA has brought to my life.

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