Dan Henderson may be 43, may be on a three fight losing streak, and may have been knocked out for the first time in his career, but he has no plans of retiring. He spoke to Fox Sports' Heidi Androl last night after the fights and had this to say:
"You know, I just got caught; I got caught with a nice little uppercut. I felt like I was still aware of what was going on. I know that he threw a head kick and I was definitely dazed for sure, but I would have liked to, maybe, fight out of it a little bit. But, you know, the ref's there to protect us, so I can't complain too much."
"I think it was a shot that took me down there; it makes me off balance I guess."
"You know, I don't know. I'd have to sit down and look at it a little bit, but I'm definitely not done. I got caught tonight. I was ready to go for this fight and I just got caught, that happens. I guess after sixteen years it's bound to happen."
"I guess my last three fights haven't gone my way, so I'm a little farther from that belt, that title shot that I had. So, you know, I'm just going to continue to get back in there and win fights. This one, definitely, I got caught and got finished. And the last two could have easily went my way and didn't, so, you know, just had some unfortunate luck the last three fights. But, my body feels good and able to continue. Honestly, I haven't felt this good in a while. It's just a bad night tonight."
Apparently, on his way to the hospital last night (for what I'm assuming was routine post concussion screening) Henderson spoke to Dana White and made clear his desire to stay with the UFC. Dana White spoke to the press about his conversation with Henderson:
"Dan Henderson, when he was going to the hospital he said, 'I want to stay with the UFC.' I said, 'Let's talk in a couple weeks.'
White has made a point of telling several former fighters that it was time to hang 'em up, but he doesn't quite have that kind of leverage with Henderson right now. As a free agent, if White doesn't think Henderson should be fighting anymore his only option is to let him walk to another promotion. For his part Henderson seems fairly adamant about his desire not only to keep fighting, but to keep fighting in the UFC and work his way to a title shot.
Even on the receiving end of the first KO in his historic career, Henderson still has enough promotional juice to be a valuable asset and a fighter that I don't think Zuffa would like to see leave the fold just yet. If he's serious about his desire to stay with the UFC I expect it won't be long before we see him back in the octagon.
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