Dan Henderson is a legend in the sport of MMA. His accolades can go up against nearly any other fighter in the history of the sport. Henderson was the Pride Middleweight and Welterweight champion, the UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament winner, the StrikeForce Light Heavyweight champion, and he holds victories over some of the greatest fighters to ever step foot inside a cage.
There is no doubt that Henderson is on the down swing of his career. Henderson has lost three bouts in a row for the first time, and in his last fight against Vitor Belfort, Henderson was finished by strikes for the first time as well.
Even with the losing streak, the UFC re-signed Henderson to a six-fight contract in January. The first bout of the contract is set to go down this weekend as Henderson takes on Shogun Rua in a rematch of one of the greatest fights in UFC history back at UFC 139.
During the build-up to this fight, the UFC, the NSAC, and the CABMMA (Brazilian Commission) all banned Testosterone Replacement Therapy from the sport of MMA. Dan Henderson will be the final fighter in the UFC to be granted a TUE for TRT when he fights Shogun this weekend in Brazil.
With the TRT ban we have heard the possibility of fighters having to retire because they need the drug to compete. The question now becomes, is Dan Henderson going to retire following his bout with Shogun on Saturday night?
Henderson spoke about the TRT ban with FOX Sports:
I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a lot of guys who need [TRT] and a lot of guys who were on it that didn’t, but I have no idea. The biggest issue is that it didn’t solve any problems by taking it away. It doesn’t really address the real issue of tackling the problem of performance enhancing drugs.
I think if they really wanted to make a statement they should have done more drug testing and implemented no advance notice in drug testing. Show up at guys’ houses at odd hours and make them give blood and pee in a cup.
I’m pretty much going to get this fight handled and worry about the changes later. I don’t need to make any decisions now. I’m going to have to do some research and see what’s out there.
I’m sure my levels were low before I started taking [TRT] for years and I got by just fine. It’s just unfortunate that a doctor’s prescription for something that would make me healthier can’t be used in this situation. Like I said, the biggest issue is they need to do some better drug testing.
As of now, Henderson seemingly wants to attempt to compete without TRT much like Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. He also made similar points to Georges St-Pierre, who recently discussed the need for more independent testing in the sport of MMA.
In the end, you have to believe that there is at least a slight chance this weekend will be the last time we see Dan Henderson inside the Octagon. If that is the case, I speak for all MMA fans everywhere thanking Henderson for an incredible Hall of Fame worthy career and wishing him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.