Add Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson to the growing number of fighters who is very impressed by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. In a recent interview with Tatame, Henderson stated that he would rather face Jones now, then later on when he’s older and Jones is even more improved.
“I’d rather fight him now than in two years,” Henderson admitted. “He’s just been improving so much, and he’ll be a lot tougher to beat in two years and I’m getting older (laughs).”
Jones defeated Maurício “Shogun” Rua in March to win the title. Coming off of yet another knee surgery and a nearly year-long layoff, Rua was dominated from start to finish by Jones. Jones beat Rua thoroughly with both effective grappling and striking and left the proud Brazilian crumpled on the canvas when all was said and done.
“I was surprised by the way Shogun came to the fight,” said Henderson. “It seemed like he was very unsure, not prepared, and that’s not Shogun anybody wants to see. It’s unfortunate, but it happens when you’re not in shape. When you’re not in shape, it doesn’t matter what your skills are.”
As for Henderson, the superfight between he and Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce has been booked for July 30 at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
To be contested at heavyweight, the fight pits two of Strikeforce’s most marketable stars — and one of its champions — against one another in a three-round, non-title affair.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.