At a combined age of 83 Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will do battle once again. The two multi-divisional fighters have met twice in the past, each walking away with the spoils.
Their first fight took place in 2006 at Pride 32. At the time Belfort was 29 and Hendo was a young 36. This was a meeting of two champion level fighters with Belfort being a former UFC champ and Hendo at the time holding the Pride welterweight title. The fight itself was dominated by the American and he won the fight via unanimous decision with one judge awarding it 30-24 in his favour.
Fast forward to 2013 and the two legends met once again. Belfort was 36 and Hendo was 43. The announcement of the fight excited fans. This new generation could actually see these two veterans do battle in an unlikely rematch that actually made sense somewhat. It was the Brazilian who won via headkick knockout in the first round handing Hendo his very first TKO/KO.
That fight left fans satisfied and I don’t think anyone expected a rubber match between the two. Now here we are in 2015 and the two are set to meet for a final time. Since their last fight Henderson has went 2-2 while Belfort has only fought once losing to Chris Weidman in a title fight.
Alan’s Angle: I remember my excitement two years ago for the rematch. Getting to see two true legends of the game getting to fight is an honour. I missed their first fight due to my lack of awareness and exposure to Pride back in the day.
I wasn’t sure how the second fight was going to play out and if I am being truthful I was routing for Hendo. Saying that, I was perfectly happy with Belfort winning. It was impressive to see. The fight itself left me satisfied and I never once since felt the need to see a third fight.
A lot has happened in the past two years. The TRT ban came in and Belfort seemed like he was majorly effected by this in his fight against Weidman where he gassed out quickly after an initial flurry. Although Hendo is 2-2 since, he too has looked a shadow of his former self. The ‘Hendo bomb’ came to his rescue when he was being dominated by Shogun and he scored a very quick KO against Tim Boetsch and then his losses to Daniel Cormier and Mousasi were simply disappointing.
Regardless, when you take a step back at the way everything has lined up in the middleweight division, their age, and their history, this fight makes sense. If both want to keep fighting then more power to them. I am always in favour for a fighter to keep fighting for the love of it (as opposed to for the need of it) and if this means that we get a final chapter, albeit not demanded, in Belfort vs. Henderson then I am going to sit back and simply enjoy what it brings. And I suggest you all do too.