Full name: Daniel Jeffery Henderson
Date of birth: August 24, 1970
Hometown: Downey, California
Fights out of: Temecula, California
Height: 5’11” (180 cm)
Weight: 204 lbs (93 kg)
Dan “Hendo” Henderson burst onto the MMA scene in 1997, when he won the Brazil Open, a four-man elimination tournament, by defeating Allan Goes and Carlos Newton. He followed up this initial success by felling five opponents in an open-weight tournament, including Maurice Smith, a former UFC heavyweight title holder.
Henderson the joined Pride Fighting Championships, competing in the middleweight class, before returning to the UFC in 2007. When he left Pride, Henderson held both the middleweight and welterweight titles, making him the first competitor to hold two major organizational championship belts simultaneously.
At UFC 78, Henderson faced Anderson Silva in a bout held to unify the Pride welterweight and UFC middleweight championships. Though Silva bested Henderson in the match, Henderson bounced back with impressive victories against Rousimar Palhares and Rich Franklin in performances which helped him secure a place on the United States Season 9 Ultimate Fighter team.
After a short run with the Strikeforce MMA organization, Henderson returned for his third UFC stint. After he was forced to withdraw from a light heavyweight title match against champion Jon Jones, Henderson came up short in three consecutive matches, leaving his future with the organization uncertain.
However, in 2014, Henderson signed a six-match contract with UFC, a deal which will allow him to retire as a member of the world’s preeminent MMA organization. He has earned a great deal of respect for his technical wrestling aplomb and his ability to carefully execute a “ground and pound” strategy. Henderson is also a tough-as-nails fighter, and has repeatedly shown an uncanny ability to avoid submission holds even when facing extremely skilled and dangerous opponents.