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Dan Henderson: Early stoppage saved his eye, wants to fight again

When a fighter hits his forties, a discussion about retirement arises after every loss. But despite having been stopped by Gegard Mousasi in the first round last Saturday, Dan Henderson wants none of it.

Esther Lin

It just wasn't Hendo's night. After a counter-right hand by Gegard Mousasi, the former Pride champion stumbled to the ground and was finished by follow-up shots after only 70 seconds of their co-main event fight at UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson. A stoppage that might have seemed a little early at first, as the seasoned veteran appeared to be dizzy but still in the fight and went for a takedown on Mousasi. Henderson stated at the post-fight press conference:

"I was aware the whole time. I was going for a single leg and coming up. I felt like I was in a good position to take him down."

Henderson explained, he was pressing forward, because he felt something was wrong with his eye and he was afraid the fight might get stopped because of that, since Mousasi was repeatedly pointing at it to the referee.

It turns out that a cut in Henderson's eye lid blurred his vision and that he had to get it stitched up by an eye specialist in Stockholm on Sunday. Daily Telegraph's Gareth Davies talked to Henderson yesterday and tweeted, that the "early stoppage" might in fact have saved his vision in that particular eye.

Henderson now lost five of his last six fights, two of them first-round (T)KO stoppages. However, the 44-year old still doesn't consider retiring an option and "absolutely" wants to fight again, as he said at the presser:

"You guys saw what happened. I just felt like I really didn't get in there to fight and didn't get an opportunity. It's just unfortunate that it happened, and it just sucks. [...] No, I mean tonight I felt fine the whole time. It was just one of those things. I'm real careful in practice and train smart. I feel good. It was just an unfortunate thing tonight. I feel completely fine and healthy."

(Transcription taken from

Injury or no injury, Dan's standing by his pre-fight message:

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