At UFC 151, we will see two warriors meeting in the cage at opposite ends of their careers.
Jon Jones is the young (recently turned 25) seemingly invincible champion, while Dan Henderson, now at 41, has had a long and storied career (and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down).
Does Henderson have what it takes to stop the young phenom?
He's currently riding a four-fight win streak, including a decision win over Shogun Rua, in what can be considered one of the most exciting fights of 2011. He also defeated the legendary Fedor Emelianenko.
As impressive as that win was, Hendo was not fighting the dominant fighter Fedor once was. Fedor was coming off a two-fight losing streak, and is now retired.
Shogun Rua is the former UFC light heavyweight champ, and is still one of the top contenders in the division. Hendo won a decision over him, while Jon Jones dominated Rua with a TKO victory (and took his title).
Jones' title run started with Rua, and he's since defeated three other former champs—Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans. The only one to even remotely pose a threat to him was Machida.
The edge when it comes to previous competition faced has to go to Jones.
When it comes to skill set, Henderson brings a strong wrestling game along with knockout power in his hands.
Jones also has a wrestling background (much less decorated than Henderson's), but he also brings a much more dynamic striking attack.
Jones has dominated numerous wrestlers, Matt Hamill, Ryan Bader and Rashad Evans to name a few, and I don't really see anything new that Henderson brings to the table. He has a Greco-Roman wrestling base, but I think he'll find it hard to get on the inside against Jones. In addition to his wingspan, Jones has very long legs.
With that said, this was the right time for Henderson to receive his title shot. I know better than to count him out. However, come September, the Jones hype train will keep on rolling.
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