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Breaking Down The Jon Jones Vs. Dan Henderson UFC Fight

Dan Henderson Vs. Jon JonesThe sweat is barely dry on Jon Jones following his UFC 145 victory over Rashad Evans and people are already starting to talk Jones vs. Dan Henderson. Henderson will try and do what appears to be more impossible than ever and that is defeat Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title.

I don’t know if Henderson vs. Jones will bring about the same kind of hype and fanfare that Jones vs. Evans brought, but I am excited. There is a heck of a story here about a fighter who is hitting the peak of his game in his 40s challenged with the impossible task of beating UFC’s youngest world champion. Can Henderson beat a legend and dethrone a future legend in back to back fights?

For those of you that don’t know, here is the background on this fight. Henderson left the UFC in 2009 as the number one contender to the UFC middleweight championship. Henderson signed with Strikeforce, lost his first fight, and then pulled off an amazing comeback of three wins.

Henderson won the promotion’s light heavyweight championship with a dominant third round win over Rafael Cavalcante. Cavalcante had a similar reputation as Jones as an unbeatable opponent for Henderson. Following that fight, Henderson defeated the legendary Fedor Emelianenko with a spectacular uppercut in the first round. Henderson then returned to the UFC with a new contract and a new mission.

Henderson defeated Mauricio Shogun Rua in a five-round Fight of the Year last December. The fight has become legendary and has gone down as one of the greatest fights in UFC history. Henderson was promised the next title shot at the Jones vs. Evans winner and it appears that he will finally get it.

Jones has been on a remarkable run since entering the world of UFC. Jones turned the corner last year defeating Shogun Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title. Including that fight, Jones has gone on to destroy four elite fighters in a row. Jones is so good that it appeared after his win over Rashad Evans that it will be years before anyone dethrones the current light heavyweight king.

Henderson will be a real interesting test for Jones. On paper, Jones should easily win this match. I love Henderson and I mean no respect, but Jones has all of the advantages. The irony here is that it almost looks too easy for Jones. These are the kinds of fights ripe for an upset. Will Jones enter the fight with the same kind of mindset he has displayed in previous title fights or will he overlook his aging contender?

They don’t have many common opponents. Their most recent common opponent would be Shogun Rua, who each fought in 2011. Jones fought Rua early in 2011 while Henderson closed out the year fighting Rua. They both won, yet both fights were different. Both dominated Rua early on but the difference was that Jones never let up. Henderson wound up gassing out and almost gave the fight away to Rua in the end. If you were to base this fight strictly on this common opponent, Jones has a huge edge.

Both fought Rampage Jackson. Jones recently fought Jackson while Henderson fought Jackson back in 2007. It is a bit unfair to base any comparisons on two fights that occurred five years apart. However, Jones dominated Jackson while Henderson struggled and lost the fight. To be fair, the Jackson Henderson fought was a much different fighter than the one that challenged Jones. Once again, advantage Jones.

I think there is a lot to be said about timing. For Jones, he is coming off of the most emotional win of his career. For Henderson, it is now or never. At 41 (42 most likely by fight night), this is likely the last chance that Henderson will ever have at this or any title in the UFC. While I hate to speculate who is more hungry in an MMA fight, logic would dictate that there is no way Henderson loses focus in preparing for the fight. I can’t make that same guarantee about Jones.

Technically, I don’t know if Henderson has the speed to beat Jones. Jones is elusive and will pick his spots. I am not sure Henderson has the speed to cut the distance with enough time to strike. The one thing Henderson does possess is one-punch knockout power. All he needs is that one lucky shot. Jones could play the early rounds cautiously if that punch intimidates him. Henderson really needs to make a statement early on by countering a Jones’ attack with a big punch, if not just knock him out entirely.

Henderson recently told USA Today that he’d like to fight Jones in the clinch. “You’ve really got to get inside and fight with him and end up in the clinch with him a lot,” Henderson says. “Jones is better than most guys in the clinch. … (But) that’s where I’m most comfortable. At the same time I need to be real careful with catching one of those goofy elbows that he throws.” I think that is a brilliant game plan if he can execute it. Jones would be unable to take advantage of his reach if he is clinched and punched by Hendo. It may be easier said than done because getting inside Jones to grab him in a clinch looks almost impossible.

And it probably isn’t a great idea to reveal his strategies in the press…just saying.

The deeper the fight goes the more it favors Jones. Henderson did go a grueling five rounds with Shogun last year. However, he was barely standing up for the final two rounds. Jones has never been that blown up in deeper rounds and actually appears to get stronger as the fight goes on. Henderson will need to end this fight in the first or second round if he has any chance of winning.

Both have a tremendous ground game so I look at the ground as neutral area. Sure, either have the skills to trap the other at any point on the ground. Henderson did win that first round against Anderson Silva by keeping him on the ground. I have to believe that Henderson doesn’t want to go to the ground and open himself up to this sharp elbows of Jones while Bones doesn’t want to go to the ground and open himself up for Hendo’s vicious ground and pound.

One thing that Henderson did mention in interviews about Evans vs. Jones is that he didn’t believe that Jones could stop Evans’ takedowns. If that is the case, I have to believe that Henderson feels just as confident about his own takedowns. Maybe I am wrong, but I find it hard to believe that Henderson would risk opening himself up to an elbow attack, although he doesn’t appear to have a high level of respect for Jones’ ability to block takedowns.

We are far away from this fight but I will go out on a limb here and make a pick. I think Jon Jones defeats Dan Henderson. I think Henderson has a moment or two where he rocks Jones but can’t finish him. I think Jones comes back and puts Henderson away with some vicious elbows in Round 3 to retain the UFC light heavyweight championship and move to 17-1.

The sweat is barely dry on Jon Jones following his UFC 145 victory over Rashad Evans and people are already starting to talk Jones vs. Dan Henderson. Henderson has remained idle in anticipation of the fight and what better time than now to start breaking down the fight.

I don’t know if Henderson vs. Jones will bring about the same kind of hype and fanfare that Jones vs. Evans brought, but I am excited. There is a heck of a story here about a fighter who is hitting the peak of his game in his 40s challenged with the impossible task of beating UFC’s youngest world champion. Can Henderson beat a legend and dethrone a future legend in back to back fights?

For those of you that don’t know, here is the background on this fight. Henderson left the UFC in 2009 as the number one contender to the UFC middleweight championship. Henderson signed with Strikeforce, lost his first fight, and then pulled off an amazing comeback of three wins.

Henderson won the promotion’s light heavyweight championship with a dominant third round win over Rafael Cavalcante. Cavalcante had a similar reputation as Jones as an unbeatable opponent for Henderson. Following that fight, Henderson defeated the legendary Fedor Emelianenko with a spectacular uppercut in the first round. Henderson then returned to the UFC with a new contract and a new mission.

Henderson defeated Mauricio Shogun Rua in a five-round Fight of the Year last December. The fight has become legendary and has gone down as one of the greatest fights in UFC history. Henderson was promised the next title shot at the Jones vs. Evans winner and it appears that he will finally get it.

Jones has been on a remarkable run since entering the world of UFC. Jones turned the corner last year defeating Shogun Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title. Including that fight, Jones has gone on to destroy four elite fighters in a row. Jones is so good that it appeared after his win over Rashad Evans that it will be years before anyone dethrones the current light heavyweight king.

Henderson will be a real interesting test for Jones. On paper, Jones should easily win this match. I love Henderson and I mean no respect, but Jones has all of the advantages. The irony here is that it almost looks too easy for Jones. These are the kinds of fights ripe for an upset. Will Jones enter the fight with the same kind of mindset he has displayed in previous title fights or will he overlook his aging contender?

They don’t have many common opponents. Their most recent common opponent would be Shogun Rua, who each fought in 2011. Jones fought Rua early in 2011 while Henderson closed out the year fighting Rua. They both won, yet both fights were different. Both dominated Rua early on but the difference was that Jones never let up. Henderson wound up gassing out and almost gave the fight away to Rua in the end. If you were to base this fight strictly on this common opponent, Jones has a huge edge.

Both fought Rampage Jackson. Jones recently fought Jackson while Henderson fought Jackson back in 2007. It is a bit unfair to base any comparisons on two fights that occurred five years apart. However, Jones dominated Jackson while Henderson struggled and lost the fight. To be fair, the Jackson Henderson fought was a much different fighter than the one that challenged Jones. Once again, advantage Jones.

I think there is a lot to be said about timing. For Jones, he is coming off of the most emotional win of his career. For Henderson, it is now or never. At 41 (42 most likely by fight night), this is likely the last chance that Henderson will ever have at this or any title in the UFC. While I hate to speculate who is more hungry in an MMA fight, logic would dictate that there is no way Henderson loses focus in preparing for the fight. I can’t make that same guarantee about Jones.

Technically, I don’t know if Henderson has the speed to beat Jones. Jones is elusive and will pick his spots. I am not sure Henderson has the speed to cut the distance with enough time to strike. The one thing Henderson does possess is one-punch knockout power. All he needs is that one lucky shot. Jones could play the early rounds cautiously if that punch intimidates him. Henderson really needs to make a statement early on by countering a Jones’ attack with a big punch, if not just knock him out entirely.

The deeper the fight goes the more it favors Jones. Henderson did go a grueling five rounds with Shogun last year. However, he was barely standing up for the final two rounds. Jones has never been that blown up in deeper rounds and actually appears to get stronger as the fight goes on. Henderson will need to end this fight in the first or second round if he has any chance of winning.

Both have a tremendous ground game so I look at the ground as neutral area. Sure, either have the skills to trap the other at any point on the ground. Henderson did win that first round against Anderson Silva by keeping him on the ground. I have to believe that Henderson doesn’t want to go to the ground and open himself up to this sharp elbows of Jones while Bones doesn’t want to go to the ground and open himself up for Hendo’s vicious ground and pound.

One thing that Henderson did mention in interviews about Evans vs. Jones is that he didn’t believe that Jones could stop Evans’ takedowns. Even after the fight Henderson was still questioning Evans’ lack of takedown attack. If that is the case, I have to believe that Henderson feels just as confident about his own takedowns. Maybe I am wrong, but I find it hard to believe that Henderson would risk opening himself up to an elbow attack, although he doesn’t appear to have a high level of respect for Jones’ ability to block takedowns.

We are far away from this fight but I will go out on a limb here and make a pick. I think Jon Jones defeats Dan Henderson. I think Henderson has a moment or two where he rocks Jones but can’t finish him. I think Jones comes back and puts Henderson away with some vicious elbows in Round 3 to retain the UFC light heavyweight championship and move to 17-1.

The sweat is barely dry on Jon Jones following his UFC 145 victory over Rashad Evans and people are already starting to talk Jones vs. Dan Henderson. Henderson has remained idle in anticipation of the fight and what better time than now to start breaking down the fight.

I don’t know if Henderson vs. Jones will bring about the same kind of hype and fanfare that Jones vs. Evans brought, but I am excited. There is a heck of a story here about a fighter who is hitting the peak of his game in his 40s challenged with the impossible task of beating UFC’s youngest world champion. Can Henderson beat a legend and dethrone a future legend in back to back fights?

For those of you that don’t know, here is the background on this fight. Henderson left the UFC in 2009 as the number one contender to the UFC middleweight championship. Henderson signed with Strikeforce, lost his first fight, and then pulled off an amazing comeback of three wins.

Henderson won the promotion’s light heavyweight championship with a dominant third round win over Rafael Cavalcante. Cavalcante had a similar reputation as Jones as an unbeatable opponent for Henderson. Following that fight, Henderson defeated the legendary Fedor Emelianenko with a spectacular uppercut in the first round. Henderson then returned to the UFC with a new contract and a new mission.

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Henderson defeated Mauricio Shogun Rua in a five-round Fight of the Year last December. The fight has become legendary and has gone down as one of the greatest fights in UFC history. Henderson was promised the next title shot at the Jones vs. Evans winner and it appears that he will finally get it.

Jones has been on a remarkable run since entering the world of UFC. Jones turned the corner last year defeating Shogun Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title. Including that fight, Jones has gone on to destroy four elite fighters in a row. Jones is so good that it appeared after his win over Rashad Evans that it will be years before anyone dethrones the current light heavyweight king.

Henderson will be a real interesting test for Jones. On paper, Jones should easily win this match. I love Henderson and I mean no respect, but Jones has all of the advantages. The irony here is that it almost looks too easy for Jones. These are the kinds of fights ripe for an upset. Will Jones enter the fight with the same kind of mindset he has displayed in previous title fights or will he overlook his aging contender?

They don’t have many common opponents. Their most recent common opponent would be Shogun Rua, who each fought in 2011. Jones fought Rua early in 2011 while Henderson closed out the year fighting Rua. They both won, yet both fights were different. Both dominated Rua early on but the difference was that Jones never let up. Henderson wound up gassing out and almost gave the fight away to Rua in the end. If you were to base this fight strictly on this common opponent, Jones has a huge edge.

Both fought Rampage Jackson. Jones recently fought Jackson while Henderson fought Jackson back in 2007. It is a bit unfair to base any comparisons on two fights that occurred five years apart. However, Jones dominated Jackson while Henderson struggled and lost the fight. To be fair, the Jackson Henderson fought was a much different fighter than the one that challenged Jones. Once again, advantage Jones.

I think there is a lot to be said about timing. For Jones, he is coming off of the most emotional win of his career. For Henderson, it is now or never. At 41 (42 most likely by fight night), this is likely the last chance that Henderson will ever have at this or any title in the UFC. While I hate to speculate who is more hungry in an MMA fight, logic would dictate that there is no way Henderson loses focus in preparing for the fight. I can’t make that same guarantee about Jones.

Technically, I don’t know if Henderson has the speed to beat Jones. Jones is elusive and will pick his spots. I am not sure Henderson has the speed to cut the distance with enough time to strike. The one thing Henderson does possess is one-punch knockout power. All he needs is that one lucky shot. Jones could play the early rounds cautiously if that punch intimidates him. Henderson really needs to make a statement early on by countering a Jones’ attack with a big punch, if not just knock him out entirely.

The deeper the fight goes the more it favors Jones. Henderson did go a grueling five rounds with Shogun last year. However, he was barely standing up for the final two rounds. Jones has never been that blown up in deeper rounds and actually appears to get stronger as the fight goes on. Henderson will need to end this fight in the first or second round if he has any chance of winning.

Both have a tremendous ground game so I look at the ground as neutral area. Sure, either have the skills to trap the other at any point on the ground. Henderson did win that first round against Anderson Silva by keeping him on the ground. I have to believe that Henderson doesn’t want to go to the ground and open himself up to this sharp elbows of Jones while Bones doesn’t want to go to the ground and open himself up for Hendo’s vicious ground and pound.

One thing that Henderson did mention in interviews about Evans vs. Jones is that he didn’t believe that Jones could stop Evans’ takedowns. If that is the case, I have to believe that Henderson feels just as confident about his own takedowns. Maybe I am wrong, but I find it hard to believe that Henderson would risk opening himself up to an elbow attack, although he doesn’t appear to have a high level of respect for Jones’ ability to block takedowns.

We are far away from this fight but I will go out on a limb here and make a pick. I think Jon Jones defeats Dan Henderson. I think Henderson has a moment or two where he rocks Jones but can’t finish him. I think Jones comes back and puts Henderson away with some vicious elbows in Round 3 to retain the UFC light heavyweight championship and move to 17-1.

UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans Program

UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans Program

UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans DVD

UFC Jon “Bones” Jones Cornerman Classic T-Shirt [Black]

Introducing the Official UFC Apparel of Jon Jones! Walkout Shirt & Performance Gear.

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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