UFC 173 fight card primer: Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson

Esther Lin

Bloody Elbow presents its fight primer coverage for UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw. Here, we look at the co-main event between light heavyweight contenders Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson.

The UFC 173 co-main event sees the undefeated Daniel Cormier (14-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) take on Dan Henderson (30-11 MMA, 7-5 UFC) at light heavyweight. Henderson is fighting for the 5th time in 15 months and is trying to get his first UFC winning streak going since 2008-2009 when he won 3 straight.

Henderson's vaunted right hand has felled many great fighters, but is Cormier too much for him to handle at this stage in his career? Cormier is the clear favorite and has the obvious advantage in speed and wrestling. You can catch the UFC 173 main card live on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. The Fox Sports 1 prelims precede it at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Cormier: 35 years old | 5'11" | 72.5" reach
Henderson: 43 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach

How have these two done recently?

Cormier: W - Patrick Cummins (TKO) | W - Roy Nelson (UD) | W - Frank Mir (UD)
Henderson: W - Mauricio Rua (TKO) | L - Vitor Belfort (KO) | L - Rashad Evans (SD)

How did these two get here?

Cormier's career achievements in MMA have come in the heavyweight division, where he won the Strikeforce Grand Prix by beating Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett. His first two UFC fights were decisions over Roy Nelson and Frank Mir, and with his teammate Cain Velasquez still champion, he was all-in for dropping to 205 lbs. Unfortunately, Rashad Evans couldn't fight Cormier after hurting his knee, so the incomparable Pat Cummins came in and was viciously beaten in the 1st round. This is Cormier's first real test against an established top LHW, and that's all he needs to secure a title shot.

For two rounds against Mauricio Rua, Henderson looked like he was going to lose the rematch of their 2011 epic and fall to 0-4. One monstrous right hand changed everything, and Henderson sealed a dramatic knockout win. From the precipice of retirement to right back into the thick of the light heavyweight "mix", Hendo has responded with a quick turnaround between fights and this will be his first fight without TRT for several years. He's a massive underdog, and rightly so, but if he can pull off an upset here it would further his claim as one of the sport's all-time greats.

Why should you care?

Cormier is a massive favorite and you could be looking at your next title challenger after Alexander Gustafsson rematches Jon Jones. Henderson can spoil the party and really turn the LHW division on its head.

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