Measuring the Puncher’s Chance in Jones vs. Henderson | EDITORIAL

August 17, 2012 5:16 pm by Oliver Insixiengmay


At UFC 151, longtime mixed martial arts veteran Dan Henderson will look to complete his collection of championship straps as he faces off against Jon Jones for his UFC light heavyweight crown.

Many opponents have fallen victim at the hands of the man dubbed ‘Bones,’ as he has repeatedly silenced the critics by decisively conquering each opponent put in front of him in convincing fashion. In his next outing he will face Dan Henderson, a man that is more than familiar with title excursions. While Jon Jones’ list of opponents is prodigious in quality, including multiple former champions, Dan Henderson boasts an illustrious career with numerous credible victories of his own. Henderson carries a win list that includes opponents such as former pound for pound candidate Fedor, to longtime greats and current contenders such as Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Rousimar Palhares, and  more recently, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.

On paper, Jones may be the more favorable candidate as he holds victories over more former champions and a victory over an opponent that Henderson has tasted defeat to; however, looking beyond that, Henderson possesses a few unique qualities that make him a formidable opponent to the impressive Jones.

Dan Henderson builds his case by possibly being the most durable fighter the young champion has ever been matched with. In his long history in the sport, Henderson has withstood the blows of heavy strikers such as Wanderlei Silva, Quinton Jackson, Vitor Belfort, and Anderson Silva. Most recently, his durability and quick recovery was on display in his five round war against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. In their meeting, Shogun connected cleanly on Henderson multiple times throughout the course of the fight; however, Henderson showcased his will and resistance and never capitulated. While susceptible to submissions, the fact that he has never been knocked out in his long history of fights against knockout artists is a strong testament to his durability, endurance, and toughness

This attribute is significant in conjunction with Henderson’s main weapon, his trademark overhand right. Henderson makes no secret in hiding the most powerful weapon in his arsenal. Appropriately dubbed “The H-Bomb,” the power Henderson is able to generate in that single punch can be seen most evidently in his infamous knockout of Michael Bisping and highlights his ability to quickly finish a fight.

Henderson’s durability and quick recovery rate is significant because it provides him with more ample time to land this shot. Like any other fighter on any given day, Henderson enters the bout with a puncher’s chance at victory. His toughness, however, extends this opportunity throughout the course of five rounds. The fact that he has proven himself so resilient gives him a longer amount of time to roll the dice and come up on this chance. Because of this, Henderson proves to be both a dangerous and worthy challenger for Jones’ belt. Although the champion has accumulated many successful victories and constructed an aura of invincibility, he must not fall victim to the right hand of Henderson that has incapacitated many before it. Nonetheless, if Jones past performances are indicative of what is to come, then Henderson will have a daunting challenge ahead of him.

Additionally, although a longer fight may be advantageous for Henderson in one perspective, one cannot ignore the role cardio factors into the fight as well.

Inarguably though, the longer the fight, the more of a puncher’s chance both fighters possess, but we will have to wait to see if chance will nullify skill.


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