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Dan Henderson Is Getting A Free Ride In UFC 151 Debacle

The UFC 151 fallout continues and it isn’t getting easier for Jon Jones. Media and fans continue to vilify Bones for not taking a new fight after Dan Henderson got hurt. Yet surprisingly nobody has pointed the finger at Hendo. Is Dan Henderson getting a free ride at the expense of the Bones Jones?

Henderson started making the media rounds on Monday, shedding a lot of light on what actually went down leading up to him pulling out of the fight. UFC president Dana White chastised Jones for almost an hour when the UFC 151 cancellation was made, giving Henderson no culpability in the debacle. Yet the more I hear from Hendo and his team, the more I am starting to wonder why Henderson has avoided any shrapnel in this explosion.

The timeline of Henderson’s injury leading up to UFC 151 has become clearer in recent days. Henderson and his coaches are claiming that Dan got hurt three weeks ago in training. Henderson’s muay thai coach Daniel Wiorin broke down the timeline in a recent interview with Fighters Only.

Dan Henderson got hurt three weeks ago sparring when he went to defend a takedown,” Wiorin said. “He had to be away for training for two-to-three weeks. It was very difficult for him to refuse the fight. All the team had to convince him not to do it.

We did a final sparring to evaluate his condition and he really didn’t have the chance to fight with Jones,” Wiorin said. “It is so depressing for everybody.

Henderson told Ariel Helwani that he kept mum on the injury, fearing that news of the injury would spread to the Jon Jones’ camp and give the champion a big target in their scheduled UFC 151 fight.

“I was very optimistic,” he said. “I was told the MCL heals real fast and should do fine. I had just under a month before the fight so I was pretty optimistic it would get better. I was told not to do anything to stretch it and make it feel unstable and it would heal up a lot faster. That’s what I was trying to do. So I could move around on my feet. As long as I was moving forward and backward, it wasn’t too bad.”

“I think it would be a decision I’d be regretting for a long time,” he said. “I felt like I need to be 100 percent going in against somebody like Jones, or close to 100 percent. And I feel like the fans would like to see me at 100 percent as well.

Henderson then offered his own criticism of the champion for turning down the fight which resulted in the card being cancelled.

Ultimately it was his decision not to take a fight with Chael,” he said.> “I don’t think it’s unfair that he’s been blasted like that. All I know is, that’s not the decision I would’ve made. Obviously he has his own reasons. I can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t take a fight like that. Other than being injured, if I’m healthy, in shape and ready to fight that day, it doesn’t matter who they want me to fight. I’ll fight, especially if I’m champ.”

It’s not the decision he would have made, yet he pulled out of a fight because he felt he wouldn’t be close to 100%? Am I missing something here?

I never once thought that Dan Henderson had much responsibility in getting the show cancelled until now. Think about it for a second. Henderson injured his knee three weeks prior to the event! He chose to keep it quiet which I understand, but it was probably the most selfish decision made throughout this whole mess. What if Henderson told the UFC three weeks ago that he was hurt? What if Henderson told the UFC two weeks ago that he felt he couldn’t go? Instead, Henderson held up the entire card until the last minute, resulting in all of the chaos we all witnessed last week.

Jon Jones is continuing to get a lot of heat from fans and critics for not taking the fight on eight days notice. Yet Henderson was injured badly enough three weeks ago that he knew his fight was in jeopardy. The UFC would have had plenty of options three weeks ago as opposed to scrambling eight days out to save a show. I can understand why Henderson didn’t want the injury news out, but in turn an entire event was held hostage in the process. Shockingly he is not getting any heat for this whatsoever. What gives?

Jon Jones has turned into the biggest scapegoat in UFC history. I am not a big Jones fan, nor am I a hater like most are these days. I am just an MMA fan that can look at a situation logically without fandom clouding my judgment. You may not like Jon Jones for turning down the fight, but Jon Jones is not the fighter responsible for cancelling UFC 151.

That fighter would be Dan Henderson.

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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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