Dan Henderson used an amateurish gameplan today to lose his shot at the Strikeforce middleweight title. Leading into the fight, it seemed the former PRIDE champion had everything in his favor, except, that is, for his opponent's greatest strength: jiu-jitsu. So why then did Henderson inexplicably participate in a submission wrestling match?
He's gameplanned well in the past. In his fight with Rousimar Palhares, he used one of MMA's most reliable strategies: neutralize a BJJ black belt by keeping the fight standing, and when it goes to the ground, maintain top control. But, unlike Palhares, Jake Shields is a BJJ black belt with formidable wrestling. But no problem, right? Henderson is the better wreslter, right?
While that might be true, other than a sprawl, viewers were treated to none of Henderson's Olympic-caliber wrestling. In fact, not only did Henderson not score a single takedown after the striking advantage he used to drop his opponent in the first round was neutralized by the first of many Shields single-leg takedowns, he didn't even attempt one.
At the end of the day, it seemed as if a ten-year veteran of the sport had forgotten what got him there.
Let's hope he remembers it the next time his right hand fails him.