Anderson Silva might have 16 consecutive UFC wins, but light heavyweight Dan Henderson thinks that number is so high because the middleweight champion fights who he wants.
“I think Anderson, for the last five years, tried to pick and choose who he fights and manipulates the UFC a little bit,” said Henderson to MMA Interviews. “He kind of tries to stay away from guys that are dangerous or have a dangerous style for him, especially because he’s looking toward the end of his career and he wants to retire without losing again.”
Henderson pointed out his teammate Chael Sonnen as an example. For over four rounds Sonnen had Silva beat at UFC 117, before the Brazilian remained champion as he locked in a late submission with two minutes on the clock. An immediate rematch seemed to be in the works, but that didn’t happen for a few reasons until UFC 148.
Nearly two years later and Sonnen got his rematch, though leading up to it Silva said he wanted another opponent. In the end, Silva needed only the second round to stop Sonnen’s championship dream once again.
Henderson looked at the situation in Silva’s shoes and sees why he favors select fighters.
“It’s not necessarily how a champ should be, but at the same time, he’s trying to be smart about things,” said Henderson. “It’s all debatable.”
This Saturday, Henderson returns at UFC 157 against Lyoto Machida in the co-main event. That comes from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA on February 23. Silva has no opponent or return confirmed.