UFC 199 could be the last time we see Dan Henderson enter the UFC Octagon.
In what is set to be the last fight on his current UFC contract, "Hendo" will take on Hector Lombard in what will make a fitting finale to such a prestigious career.
The-45-year old has fought in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, and sadly has seen a decline in his performances in recent years. The oldest fighter on the UFC roster has lost six of his last eight fights, including suffering the only three knockouts of his career.
However, these defeats won't take the gleam of what has been an amazing career for the former Olympic wrestler.
The issue of retirement has been brought up many times by the media when speaking with Henderson. Always shrugging the idea off, it seems that Henderson is finally ready to come to terms with bowing out of the sport, according to his comments during an interview with MMAjunkie Radio.
“I’m definitely capable of keeping on and still competing at a high level, but I’m almost ready to retire, and depending on how things play out after this fight with negotiations, yeah, it could be my last. Or maybe I’ll still fight. I don’t know yet. I’m at that point where I’m about ready, but definitely, I know in my heart I’m still capable of doing it and if I do decide to keep going on I’ll make sure I do it well.”
Henderson was originally set to face Lyoto Machida at UFC on FOX 19 back in April in what was meant to be his last fight on his contract. Unfortunately, mere days before the event the bout was pulled due to Machida admitting to taking a banned substance. It was a bit of a blow for Henderson, who would seemingly rather get the last fight on his contract over and done with.
Thankfully the UFC repaid the MMA legend for his years of service by placing him on the 199 card in his home state of California. Taking on former Bellator champ Hector Lombard, Henderson truly has a dangerous opponent on his hands.
Lombard will prove a different sort of challenge for Henderson than the elusive Machida. Lombard already has a proven record when it comes to his knockout prowess and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways following his defeat to Neil Magny.
“Instead of fighting a guy that runs all the time I got a guy that runs at you the whole time – at least for the first few minutes. It’s a totally different style, just a completely different fighter I’m training for. The fight with Hector Lombard is definitely something the fans will enjoy more than watching Machida run around the whole time.”
The pair will face off at UFC 199 at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Saturday, June 4. The main event see's middleweight champ Luke Rockhold take on UFC veteran Michael Bisping, with the co-main featuring a bantamweight title bout between champ Dominick Cruz and bitter rival Urijah Faber.
(Image via MMAWeekly.com)