With a crushing right hand, granite chin and Olympic-level wrestling, Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson has found tremendous success throughout his 14-year mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
"Hendo," 40, was the first and only fighter in the history of the sport to win two titles simultaneously in two separate divisions, holding the Pride FC welterweight (185 pounds) and middleweight (205 pounds) belts at the same time.
That was after he was able to win the UFC 17 middleweight tournament way back in 1998 -- less than a year after his professional MMA debut. Two years after which, in early 2000, he won the Rings: "King of Kings" heavyweight tournament, defeating notables such as Renato Sobral, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Gilbert Yvel. Henderson also took home the Pride FC Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament title in 2005.
He's a legend.
There isn't much he hasn't done with the exception of hoisting an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) belt. Although he did compete for the middleweight and light heavyweight championships upon his return to the Octagon in 2007, losing the back-to-back contests to Quinton Jackson and Anderson Silva, respectively.
Those two defeats highlight the few hiccups Henderson has had along the way. Like most other experienced fighters, he has also dropped matches he wasn't supposed to lose and turned in far from perfect performances. The Temecula, Calif., native has also been branded "Decision Dan" -- nearly 50 percent of his 35 career fights have gone the distance -- which is far from flattering for an audience that constantly craves spectacular finishes.
Got to take the good with the bad.
And that's exactly what we plan to do in this feature, traveling back in time to look at Henderson's best and worst career-defining moments to date as he prepares to take on another legend, Fedor Emelianenko, in the main event of Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" on July 30, 2011.
The "super fight," which is scheduled for the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., is a non-title heavyweight bout against a man who is widely regarded as the best ever (despite his recent slump). It's just the latest in a long line of challenges that he'll likely tackle head on -- like he always has and does -- for better or worse.
Just another day in Henderson's six-sided office.