ByJustin Golightly, writer at
Design wizard. MMA mathematician. Formerly of Middle Easy, Justin Golightly has been featured on Bleacher Report, Uproxx and TMZ.
Justin Golightly

Dan Henderson is known for two things: His infamous "H-Bomb," and a legendary MMA career.

Approaching two decades in a sport he has said he would step away from after his next fight, Henderson reflects back with on his toughest fights.

"My toughest night of fighting was when I fought in the RINGS King of Kings Championship, 32 man tournament," he told Dave Rispoli of "Three fights in a night against heavyweights."

The tournament Henderson is referring to took place on February 26, 2000. It was preceded by a two round qualifier event in 1999. Henderson, having won his bracket to qualify for the final tournament, went on to defeat Gilbert Yvel, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Renato "Babalu" Sobral in one night to become the champion.

"[I] tore my knee a little bit, and still had to get through that fight and one more to win the tournament," Henderson added. "That was definitely the toughest night of fighting."

That, alone, is insane, but Henderson's whole career reads like this.

Out of 46 fights in four weight divisions, Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko stand out as two of the toughest fights, hardest hitters and the victories that Henderson is most proud of.

"As far as a single fight goes, maybe the first time I fought Wanderlei ... I wasn't in the best condition," Henderson said, adding that Silva was also arguably the hardest hitter he ever faced. "Fedor hit pretty hard as well [though]."

Henderson went up in weight to fight Silva for a second time at Pride 33. There Henderson won the Pride Middleweight Championship, which was the second Pride title he held after he defeated Murilo Bustamante at Pride Shockwave in 2005. Four years later, Henderson would knock out one of the greatest of all time in Fedor Emelianenko at heavyweight. This was the fight directly after Henderson won the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship against Rafael Cavalcante.

The only major MMA title Henderson has not held is a UFC title. He will attempt to rectify that at UFC 204 against Michael Bisping.


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