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SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Dan Henderson answers questions from the media during the UFC 139 open workouts at the Heroes Martial Arts Gym on November 16, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
A two-time United States Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling, Dan Henderson turned his sights to MMA in 1997, and he has since put together a Hall of Fame worthy career that has seen him become the first and only fighter to hold PRIDE championships simultaneously in two divisions. In 2007, Henderson returned to the UFC after a nine year absence, and after tough battles with Quinton Jackson and Anderson Silva, he has scored back-to-back wins over Rousimar Palhares, Rich Franklin, and MIchael Bisping.
When and why did you start training for fighting? My first fight was in 1997, but I didn’t really train in fighting for it. I did it to make some money to keep wrestling and I thought I’d be good at it.
What ranks and titles have you held? Former PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight Champion (1st fighter in history to hold both belts simultaneously), 1992 and 1996 United States Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling team member, 1988 USA Junior Freestyle champion, 1988 USA Junior Greco-Roman champion, 3-time USA Senior Greco-Roman champion, 3-time USA University Greco-Roman champion, 1990 USA FILA Junior World Greco-Roman champion, 1990 Amateur Wrestling News Freshman All-American, 1990-91 U.S. Olympic Festival champion, 1991 and 1993-94 University Nationals champion, 1993-94 U.S. Nationals champion, UFC 17 middleweight tournament winner, RINGS 1999 King of Kings Absolute tournament winner, coach on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter.
Do you have any heroes? None
What is your favorite technique? Front choke
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? To see who the top guy in the world is, finally, and to have the opportunity to be the first undisputed world champion is huge. The UFC is a great platform to do that on, it’s got the best marketing tools, and I’m ready to stay in the UFC for a long time.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Arizona State University, no degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? Wrestling. I’ve never had a real job in my life.