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Dan Henderson on Jon Jones: 'I don’t have a whole lot of respect for him as a person'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dan Henderson was one of the first people to call Jon Jones fake in a roundabout way. The MMA legend's mind has not changed regarding the UFC light heavyweight champion.

Jones made an offhand comment about Henderson leading up to his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182. Cormier beat Henderson in dominant fashion at UFC 173 back in May and Jones said he was not impressed with the victory over a "50-60" year-old Henderson.

Henderson said the comment didn't bother him -- it just cemented how he already felt about Jones.

"He is who he is and it doesn't reflect good upon him when he does things like that," Henderson said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. "It doesn't bother me at all. I know who I am and I know how I portray myself. I don't have a whole lot of respect for him as a person."

Henderson was supposed to fight Jones at UFC 151 in 2012 before injuring his knee. The event was canceled when Jones refused to face Chael Sonnen on short notice. Henderson and Jones haven't had many nice things to say about each other since then.

"I said it a couple years ago," Henderson said. "He's just not very genuine. He portrays himself differently than what he really is and I think that's where people have the problem with him. If he didn't act like someone he wasn't, I don't think anybody would have a problem."

Cormier said similar things about Jones in the intense build-up to their fight. Many of Jones' opponents have echoed it. But, of course, Jones has beaten them all. "Bones" defeated Cormier by unanimous decision Saturday night in Las Vegas, winning four out of five rounds. It wasn't a completely one-sided bout, but it was clear afterward that Jones was the better fighter -- and likely the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now.

Henderson doesn't take any of that away from him.

"I've always respected him as a fighter," Henderson said. "I think that he's got great skills in every part of the game. I thought DC's wrestling would make a difference in that fight and he didn't really utilize it the way he's capable of. Jones did a great job defending it and putting DC on his back a couple of times."

Henderson, 44, takes on Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event of UFC on FOX: Gustafsson vs. Johnson on Jan. 24 in Sweden. "Hendo" will drop back down to middleweight for the bout. He has lost four of his last five bouts, but said retirement has not entered his mind nor does he feel this is a must-win.

"I never put that kind of pressure on myself," Henderson said. "Knowing that no matter what, win or lose, I'm not going anywhere. I don't think that. I don't ever think I'm gonna lose either. I'm perfectly capable of winning this fight and know what I need to do to get it done. Training is right on track to make that possible."

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