Current "Gangster Weight" Bellator contender Chael Sonnen and MMA legend/Champions fight blogger Dan Henderson go way, way back — back before there were things like fancy Reebok deals and FOX analyst gigs and athletic commissions who gave a hoot about whether or not this sport was properly regulated even existed. That far back.
But one thing Sonnen could always count on from Henderson — who he refers to as "a dick" in the most loving way one can — was an honest assessment of his chances against an upcoming opponent.
Enter Michael Bisping, who Sonnen squared off with back in 2012.
"I called Dan one time, and I’m going to fight Michael Bisping on FOX,” Sonnen said during a special taping of the “Phonebooth Fighting” podcast at The L.A. Comedy Club in Las Vegas.
“And if I win, I’m going to fight Anderson Silva for the world championship. It’s a big fight. Henderson’s in the same weight class; he’s fought Bisping, (and) he’s trained with me for years. So I call Dan the night before the fight, which is a tradition for me. And I ask him, ‘Can I beat this guy?’"
What followed was a hilarious peek into the mind of Dan Henderson.
"He goes, ‘Uh … yeah. I don’t see why not.’ And then I can hear him talking to his kids off the phone, and I can tell he’s not enveloped in this conversation. So then he finally says to me, ‘Well, is it three or five rounds?'"
"I’m thinking, 'Dan, are you not even following this sport?' This is a big deal, it’s on FOX, it’s the second fight ever on FOX, Rashad Evans is headlining the show, and I’m not the world champion, even though I keep telling people I am – Anderson Silva is, and you’re in the division. So you tell me, Dan, is it three or five rounds?”
"So I answer his question (and say) it’s three rounds. And he finally comes clean after all of this, and he flat out says, ‘Who are you fighting?'”
"He didn't ask you what organization at least, right?" quipped Frank Mir, ever the optimist.
Of course, knowing that Sonnen eventually went on to defeat Bisping via split decision, it would be safe to assume that his buddy's advice didn't have that negative an effect on his confidence going into the fight.
Still though, it's safe to assume that Hendo will not be playing the Mr. Miyagi to anyone's Daniel LaRusso now that he's enjoying retirement.