clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Coach: Dan Henderson wanted Vitor Belfort or Anderson Silva after last fight

New, comments
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

There were those on Dan Henderson's team who thought the MMA legend would just ride off into the sunset after his first-round knockout over Tim Boetsch in June. They thought the 44-year-old might take it easy for the final two fights of his UFC contract.

But that's never really been Hendo's style, now has it?

Henderson's Team Quest coach Ricardo Feliciano told MMAFighting.com that after Henderson knocked out Boetsch in New Orleans he told his trainers and teammates he wanted a big fight next -- against Vitor Belfort or Anderson Silva.

"Dan came to us and said guys, 'I want Vitor or Anderson Silva,'" Feliciano said. "I said, 'You're crazy, Dan. You said two more fights, you're done. Go enjoy your vacation. Don't worry about that anymore. Just make your money.' He said, 'I'll make my money and I want to ask for Vitor or Anderson Silva.'"

Henderson (31-13) got his wish. He'll meet Belfort in a trilogy bout in the main event of UFC Fight Night 77 on Nov. 7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Belfort defeated Henderson by first-round knockout in 2013, while Henderson beat Belfort via unanimous decision in 2006.

"He doesn't just want to just get his check like we thought after the last fight," Feliciano said. ... "Nah, he wants to challenge himself. He's putting himself in training. He's going to push his training more, he'll be motivated. He'll be in great shape."

A Silva fight would also be a rematch. Henderson lost to the former UFC middleweight champion via second-round submission in 2008. Feliciano is unsure if Henderson will ask for "The Spider" in his final fight. Silva is currently under suspension for failing multiple drug tests for steroids.

Henderson, who has been a pro MMA fighter since 1997, lost two in a row and five of six before destroying Boetsch in just 28 seconds. The last time Henderson and Belfort fought, they were both on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), though Henderson has said he believes Belfort was on something different than what he was taking.

"Hendo" certainly has nothing left to prove. He's a former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion. He's beaten the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Mauricio Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva and Belfort. Henderson is one of the very best to ever compete in the sport.

But, even after nearly two decades, Henderson still wants to fight and he wants to do it against tough competition. Belfort is coming off a loss to Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 187 in May. Henderson didn't even mind fighting Belfort in Brazil for a second time.

"We know he's motivated and he'll have a good camp," Feliciano said. "We're all excited."