PRIDE and UFC veteran Dan Henderson will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing April decision loss to Jake Shields early next month at Strikeforce: St. Louis when he takes on former opponent Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Clinch Gear Radio caught up with “Hendo” recently to see how his preparation is going for “Babalu.”
“I’m feeling good,” Henderson said. “I feel like my conditioning is right on track, my body is feeling good.”
The former PRIDE champion has not fought since taking on Shields in April, and before that he had not fought since July of 2009 under the UFC banner. Henderson believes the layoff shouldn’t affect him too much and is looking forward to staying more active after this bout.
“It has been a little bit of a layoff but not quite as long as my last layoff,” he said. “Hopefully, after this fight I’ll be pretty active.”
For this fight against “Babalu,” Henderson will be competing at light heavyweight whereas his last bout was contested at middleweight. The pro is that Henderson won’t have to cut any weight but the con is that he will almost always be smaller than his 205-pound peers who cut weight. No matter, because Henderson believes that his strength, of both mind and body, is enough to contend with heavier opponents.
“Yeah, but I don’t feel weak at 205,” Henderson said. “Like I’ve always said when people ask me that same question is, ‘I’m big on the inside.’ You have to be in order to really perform at any weight class. You have to have a big heart and mentally, you have to be competent and know that you can do it. I’ll be walking into the cage at probably 203 or 204.”
How do you think Henderson will fare against “Babalu” Will the move up in weight or the long layoff have any adverse effects on his performance? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.