Morning Report: Dan Henderson Gets a Date With Destiny; MMA's Cameo on 'The Daily Show'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Well, it's finally official. At just 41 years young, Dan Henderson is slated to fight 24-year-old phenom Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight strap.

Not surprisingly, Henderson opened as nearly a 6-to-1 underdog, and really, after watching Jones treat the upper echelon of 205 pounds like his own personal plaything, the argument could be made for the odds to be higher.

It's almost been a foregone conclusion Hendo will lose, but there's really an underrated storyline here that seems to be getting lost under the hype. Daniel Cormier recently touched on it when asked what Dan fighting a different champion, Junior dos Santos, would represent.

"It's just what he's done his whole career," Cormier said to MMA:30. "He's fought heavyweights, he's fought middleweights, he's fought 205-pounders, and if you look at his record, it's amazing. So Dan Henderson should be mentioned as one of the greatest fighters of all-time, if not the greatest fighter of all-time, but he's missing that UFC title. He has to be a UFC champion. I think if he is, Dan Henderson will universally be considered the best fighter of all-time."

Cormier has a point. Amid all of Henderson's many accomplishments, the sheen of a UFC belt is the one monstrous, glistening omission.

So really, the amount of legacy at stake for Hendo here is astounding. This one fight could potentially change everything. No one expects Henderson to win, but what happens if he somehow lands the mother-of-all-H-bombs, stuns the world one last time, defeats the undefeatable, and finally gets that elusive belt? Couldn't a very, very convincing case be made for Henderson to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time?

Of course, the overriding sentiment is that Jones will win handedly. But still, somewhere in the back of his mind, Hendo has to know this his last shot at UFC gold. And that kind of desperation can be a dangerous asset.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson. Jon Jones will defend his UFC light heavyweight strap against MMA legend Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 151, scheduled for September 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.

Dominick Cruz discusses 'devastating' knee injury. UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz revealed how he tore the ACL in his left knee, how long he expects to be out, and what he thinks about the UFC's decision to institute an interim title.

Ronda Rousey speaks to critics. Strikeforce bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey spoke about the influx of media attention she's received and why Dana White seems to be a big fan of hers, while offering some choice words for both her critics and upcoming opponent, Sarah Kaufman.

Chris Lytle loses Indiana State Senate election. Former UFC brawler Chris Lytle lost in his bid to reach the Indiana State Senate, finishing less than 2,000 votes short of eventual Republican nomination winner Mike Crider.

Bellator 68 predictions. Preview Friday night's Bellator 68 main card with analysis and predictions for Daniel Straus vs. Marlon Sandro, Marcos Galvao vs. Travis Marx, Carmelo Marrero vs. Seth Petruzelli, and Marius Zaromskis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf.

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MEDIA STEW

It's rare that MMA hits the airwaves on something as mainstream as Comedy Central's The Daily Show, but that's exactly what happened earlier this week. Though, it wasn't quite in the context you'd expect.

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Chael Sonnen rapping -- great thing or greatest thing?

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And of course, your daily does of violence. Wait for the finish, it's totally worth it. (Around the 2:50 mark for the impatient.) So, about how long until we see someone bust this out in the cage? (HT: Reddit)

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Katerina Pyle, the wife of UFC fighter Mike Pyle, reveals how she met her hubby, and it's pretty much the least romantic thing we've ever heard. (HT: MiddleEasy)

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WHO EXACTLY IS THIS JOHN JONES FELLA

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BACK TO THE GRIND

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ALSO...

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EVGENI & VINNY

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, May 9, 2012):

- UFC 151: Jon Jones (16-1) vs. Dan Henderson (29-8) announced for September 1

- UFC on FOX 4: Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Terry Eitm (15-4)

- UFC on FOX 4: Matt Mitrione (5-1) vs. Rob Broughton (15-7-1)

- UFC on FOX 4: Oli Thompson (9-3) vs. Phil De Fries (8-1)

- Bellator 69: Shanon Slack (3-0) vs. Booker Arthur (2-1)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day features Hobbie wistfully looking back at what could have been: The Sad Story of Fedor and the UFC Only Becomes Sadder in Hindsight

Anyone who was an MMA nerd back then remembers how insane the "Fedor is coming to the UFC" hype was. Sure, this was a news story that cropped up every few months or so (it still does, actually) but this time was special. The timing was perfect, the opportunity was there, and everything seemed set for the biggest signing in MMA history.

It never happened. Like something out of a Dr. Seuss story, White and company offered Fedor money. They offered M-1 exposure on their PPV broadcast. They offered him even more money. They offered to let him compete in Sambo tournaments. And did I mention they offered him a ton of money?

But still, Fedor would not eat those green eggs and ham, Sam I Am.

Now lots has been written about this failed business deal, by folks far more "in the know" than I. Still, reading over this news item, I couldn't help but feel a sense of melancholy. There's so much to regret in the failed UFC/Fedor deal, and the passage of time has only added to the unbelievable sense of missed opportunity for Fedor.

Why do I say that? There's a few reasons, but chief among them are:

Fedor would have beaten Brock Lesnar

I know I know, there's nothing worse than some blogger stating that fighter X would "definitely" beat fighter Y, especially in a past-tense, completely hypothetical scenario.

But follow my logic here.

Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.

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