UFC 157: Believe in Hendo

History will happen tomorrow evening in Anaheim, California when the first to female fighters in the history of the UFC enter the octagon for the Woman’s Bantamweight Championship.  However, before that historic fight occurs, we will be treated to another historic war in the co-main event – a war that I would argue will be infinitely more entertaining than the main event and the winner of which should get the next shot at the Light Heavyweight championship.

Dan “Hendo” Henderson is the second oldest active UFC fighter at the ancient age of 42.  He has fought in three different promotions (UFC, Pride, and Strikeforce), has fought in four different weight classes (heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight), and has held titles in all three promotions and in three different weight classes.  He has a long list of amateur wrestling medals, but has found most of his professional fighting success through the knock-out power of his right hand (dubbed the “H-Bomb”).

Hendo’s opponent across the octagon is the 34-year old Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, a truly entertaining fighter with his use of Karate.  With a professional record of 18-3, including a recent one-sided beating of Ryan Bader, Machida has held the UFC’s light heavyweight belt before, and is looking to take it back.

Las Vegas has stated that Machida is the favorite, despite the fact that he is ranked 3rd in the division to Henderson’s 2nd, and most statistical analysis would confirm Vegas’s decision.  However, the one thing stats cannot quantify is heart and determination – two things that Hendo possesses in great quantities (along with that deadly H-BOMB!).  If you need proof of Hendo’s toughness, just watch his most recent fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, a 5 round war in which Hendo emerged victorious (and which is currently free to watch on UFC.com).

In my opinion, Machida’s youth and unorthodox fighting style against Hendo’s experience and power makes for a true pick ’em fight – a fight that can easily go either way.  If Hendo can impose his will early, look for him to end the fight either through a KO or TKO.  However, if Machida is able to avoid Hendo’s strikes early on, look for him to wear down the legend in route to a decision victory.

BELIEVE IN HENDO!

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