Dan Henderson (29-11) may have suffered the first knockout loss of his career to Vitor Belfort (24-10) last night, which was also his third consecutive defeat, but it would appear that the forty three year old isn’t done fighting just yet.
Speaking to Fox Sports after the event, Henderson suggested that he thought the fight could have continued for a little while longer.
“I just got caught. I got caught with a nice little uppercut, I felt like I was still aware of what was going on. I know he threw a head kick and I was definitely dazed, for sure, but I would have liked to have maybe try to fight out of it a little bit. But the ref’s there to protect us, so I can’t complain too much.”
When asked about the first knockout loss of his career Henderson stated that it’s not the end for him and that it was always a possibility after a sixteen year career that has saw him compete in forty professional bouts.
“I’m definitely not done, I got caught tonight, I was ready to go for this fight and I just got caught. That happens, I guess after sixteen years it was bound to happen.”
Regarding what’s next for Henderson, he suggested that he’s keen to return to action quickly, wanting to put a bad night behind him, and that he’s feeling as good as he has in some time.
“I’m just going to continue to get back in there and win fights, this one definitely I got caught and got finished and the last two could have easily went my way and didn’t. I’ve just had some unfortnate luck the last three fights but my body feels good and I’m able to continue. Honestly I haven’t felt this good in a while, it was just a bad night tonight.”
The bout with Belfort was the last of Henderson’s current deal with the UFC and when speaking at the post-fight press conference UFC President Dana White stated that Henderson wants to re-sign with the company and that the two parties will talk in a few weeks.
” Dan Henderson was transported to the hospital, I just saw him out back. He wants to do a new deal, I said we’ll talk in a few weeks so we’ll see what happens.”
With Henderson suffering his third consecutive defeat it is unlikely the UFC will be willing to match the terms of his current deal so it will be interesting to see whether or not Henderson and the UFC can agree on terms that would see Henderson return to the octagon in 2014.
This isn’t the first time that Henderson’s UFC future has been in question. Back in 2009, following a knockout victory for Henderson over Michael Bisping (24-5), Hendo opted not to renew his deal with the UFC and ply his trade in Strikeforce, before returning to the UFC in November, 2011. However, that time around it was Henderson who held all the cards, after winning three bouts in a row, a polar opposite of the situation he now finds himself in.