— Billy Gates (@GatesOnSports) December 12, 2016
Way back in 2012, light heavyweight great Jon “Bones” Jones was expected to defend the UFC light heavyweight title against former two-division Pride champion Dan Henderson. The fight was supposed to fill the main event spot of UFC 151. Regrettably, Henderson was forced out of this planned bout with an injury, which ultimately forced the cancellation of the entire card.
Over the course of the next few years, Jones’ reign of dominance continued, while an aging “Hendo” experienced hot-and-cold results one division south at middleweight. Despite the very different trajectories of their recent careers, however, it was impossible not to wonder what might have happened if they had met as planned at UFC 151.
On Sunday night, in the main event of Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground 2, we got our answer – sort of. Though it wasn’t a mixed martial arts bout, Jones and Hendo finally stepped into the cage together for a submission grappling match.
It was a dominant win for Jones. After a brief feeling out process, which saw Jones fake a spinning elbow and Hendo fake his patented “H-Bomb,” Jones was able to secure mount on his much smaller foe. From there, he locked up an arm-triangle choke, and moved into side control to force the tap.
Watch the final moments of this match in the clip at the top of this article.
“Dan is so strong, I did not expect him to be that strong,” Jones said after his win. “Thank you so much for the opportunity, Dan. I really appreciate it, man. I know we’ve had our differences over the years, Dan, but I respect you tremendously. You’re truly a legend and one of the greatest of all-time in our sport.”
“He got me with a nice arm-triangle, snuck it in there on me, the dirty bastard,” Henderson said in his post-fight interview. “But no, good job to Jon. He did a great job tonight.”
Do you think this outcome is reflective of what would have happened if Jones and Hendo had fought at UFC 151? Sound off, PENN Nation!