Retirement? Dan Henderson isn't considering anything like that.
The MMA legend fell to Gegard Mousasi by TKO in the first round Saturday night at UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson in Stockholm, Sweden. Henderson was rocked, fell down against the cage and then was finished by Mousasi. The stoppage might have been a tad early -- Henderson seemed to be coming to when referee Leon Roberts stepped in -- but there was no doubt "Hendo" was in big trouble.
Henderson (30-12) has now lost five of his last six fights and in two of those he was knocked out. The former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion has been knocked down 15 times in his career and was hurt badly in a win over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua last March before coming back to knock him out.
But Henderson, 44, told Ariel Helwani on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show that he "absolutely" will fight again.
"I want to fight right now," Henderson said.
Henderson said his vision was blurred by a Mousasi punch. Fearing that it was a cut that might have ended the fight, Henderson pressed forward and got caught again by Mousasi, knocking him against the cage. Mousasi pounced and Roberts intervened. Henderson, though, said he was never out.
"I was aware the whole time," Henderson said. "I was going for a single leg and coming up. I felt like I was in a good position to take him down."
Henderson argued with Roberts afterward, feeling that the fight should have continued. UFC president Dana White tweeted that he believed it was a good call by the ref, but that Roberts was lax in getting Mousasi off Henderson.
Not a bad stoppage the refs are SO SLOPPY. If the ref didn't tackle Mousasi he would have kept that top position Dan would have got smashed— Dana White (@danawhite) January 25, 2015
Either way, Henderson will need to stay an extra day in Stockholm to get a cut on his eyelid stitched up. After that, he'll consider the next step.
"I've never had that kind of injury before," said Henderson, who was wearing an eye patch in the post-fight press conference. "I rarely get cut. I'd imagine it would heal like any other stitches. I feel completely fine other than that."
The former Olympic wrestler was asked if he worried about things like brain trauma in the post-fight press conference. Henderson said he did not.
"No, I mean tonight I felt fine the whole time," Henderson said. "It was just one of those things. I'm real careful in practice and train smart. I feel good. It was just an unfortunate thing tonight. I feel completely fine and healthy."
Henderson, who has been a pro MMA fighter since 1997, said his future will likely be at middleweight where he competed Saturday. Previously, he had spent about four years at light heavyweight and even went to heavyweight once to fight Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce.
"It doesn't matter," Henderson said. "I felt good tonight. My body felt great. I felt fine. I just had an unfortunate thing happen and that's the way it goes. The weight cut was fairly easy. I naturally weigh fairly light anyway. I was kind of tired of pushing around all these big guys."
More than anything, Henderson just seemed to be bummed he didn't get a better chance against Mousasi.
"You guys saw what happened," he said. "I just felt like I really didn't get in there to fight and didn't get an opportunity. It's just unfortunate that it happened, and it just sucks."