Until Conor McGregor won the lightweight title by defeating Eddie Alvarez and becoming a simultaneous two-weight world champion with the UFC, no one managed to achieve that feat except Dan Henderson.
And just like Conor is the face of MMA currently, it was Henderson who carried the flag in the past.
Dan was not only a two-weight world champion with the Pride FC but was also a champion in the Strikeforce organization as well. Also, the former UFC fighter is a two-time Olympian with his country, the United States of America.
All in all, the California native is one of the most decorated athletes, let alone fighters in the whole world. As a result, he is also one of the most well-known and respected fighters out there.
However, Henderson did not achieve all of his success in one day. Instead, it took him nearly two decades to cement his legacy as one of the best.
This article will guide you through his early MMA career to his rise in fame with Pride FC and then to his eventual retirement with the UFC. Besides, you will also find information regarding Dan’s net worth, fight purse, achievements, and family.
But first, just like MMA fighters, warm up before their fight, let’s warm up with some quick facts before we get on to the serious stuff.
Quick Facts about Dan Henderson
|Full Name||Daniel Jeffery Henderson|
|Birth Date||24 August 1970|
|Birth Place||Downey, California, U.S.A|
|Father’s Name||Bill Henderson|
|Mother’s Name||Not available|
|Siblings||Tom Henderson, Selanee Henderson|
|Age||53 years old|
|Height||5’11″ (1.80 m)|
|Weight||84 kg (185 lb)|
|Net Worth||$8 million|
|Children||Sierra Henderson, Reese Henderson|
|Profession||Mixed Martial Arts|
|Reach||74 inch ( 188cm)|
|Team||Team Quest (1999-present), Dan Henderson Fitness Center|
|Fighting out of||Temecula, California|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter, Facebook|
|Last Update||November, 2023|
Dan Henderson | Career & Records
Long before Henderson rose to prominence with Pride FC as their two-division world champion, the former olympian followed his longtime friend and another future UFC
Legend, Randy Couture, into MMA. At first, Dan saw MMA as a means to increase his income to fund his dream of making it into the Olympics team for the third time.
To illustrate, at UFC 204 in his last fight, Henderson said,
“When I first started fighting, it was more to make a little money to keep wrestling and it turned into loving the sport. My main goals were set in wrestling and I had zero goals in MMA.”
Returning to the subject, the two-time Olympian made his professional debut in MMA in the 1997 Brazil Open Tournament. Subsequently, in a trailer of what was to come in the future, Henderson won the Championship after two relatively quick finishes.
Following a year’s sabbatical from the sport, Dan returned to MMA, this time with the UFC. However, at that time, UFC was not as humongous and well-known as it is now.
Nevertheless, the California native won his second consecutive tournament despite a broken jaw due to a punch delivered from future Welterweight champion Carlos Newton.
But, by this time, the two-time Olympian had still not decided to make MMA his primary focus.
Instead, the decision was made for Henderson as he failed to qualify for the 2000 Olympics team along with coming up short at the World Team Trial in 2001.
It was at this moment that Dan decided to make Mixed Martial Arts his profession. As they say, the rest is history because, at the time of writing, Henderson is probably the most decorated mixed martial artist ever to grace the sport.
To resume, the two-time Olympian won his third consecutive tournament at Rings: Kings of Kings. What’s even more astounding is that there was no weight limit for the tourney.
As a result, Henderson had to face opponents that were 30 pounds heavier than him routinely.
Following his impressive performances throughout the previous years, Pride FC snapped up Dan before any other competitors could. Only a few could have imagined the impact that Henderson would have on the Pride FC organization as a whole and vice-versa.
To illustrate, the California native won the Pride Middleweight Championship by defeating Wanderlei Silva at Pride 33 while still holding the Welterweight Championship.
Consequently, Dan became the first fighter to hold two titles in two different weight divisions simultaneously in a major MMA organization.
To further highlight the two-time Olympian’s achievement with the Pride FC banner, Conor Mcgregor became the only fighter after Henderson to hold two different weight division belts simultaneously in a major MMA organization in 2016.
Specifically, it took nearly 10 years for any fighter to replicate what the 49-year-old had done in 2006.
As a result, UFC swooped in and signed the California native as he was the most popular and talented fighter outside of the company.
Subsequently, in Henderson’s first fight after returning to the UFC, Dan faced Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva.
In both those fights, the two-time Olympian showcased his champion’s mentality and quality. But, unfortunately, Dan lost both those bouts.
In contrast, Henderson bounced back from his inauspicious start with the UFC and won his next three bouts against Rousimar Palhares, Rich Franklin, and Michael Bisping.
As a result, many fans and fighters thought Dan had earned another opportunity at the Middleweight Championship.
In an unexpected turn of circumstances, the California native decided to sign for UFC’s competitor Strikeforce instead due to his contract expiration.
Subsequently, although losing his first fight with Strikeforce, Henderson went on a winning spree, which included him winning the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship. Also, Dan secured a knockout victory against MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko in his last fight with the organization.
People say that “If two individuals are meant to be with each other, then nothing can stop them.” And this was the case with Henderson and the UFC as the former Pride Welterweight Champion signed with the organization mentioned above.
Subsequently, Dan embarked on his third and final UFC run, which would also turn out to be his longest. However, by this time, Henderson was already 38 years old.
As a result, the California native’s body and reflexes were not the same as during his early years. Contrarily, Dan still possessed the one-punch knockout ability that made him such a feared opposition.
In his third run with the UFC, the two-time Olympian appeared 11 times, winning four and losing seven bouts. The primary reason for Dan’s bad record is his slow reflexes due to his age.
However, Henderson’s fights to win were all via knockouts, which further highlights his punching power.
In his last ever fight in MMA, the California native managed to take UFC Middleweight Champion, Michael Bisping, to the final buzzer as the fight had to be decided by the judges.
Even though Henderson lost the fight, it was not without some flashes of his past form as he knocked down Bisping twice over the course of the five rounds. Ultimately, Michael proved too durable for Dan as he closed out the fourth and fifth rounds firmly to secure a unanimous victory.
To conclude, Dan Henderson is probably the most versatile MMA fighter to have ever lived, as suggested by his Championships in various organizations and different weight classes.
As a result, Henderson was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on 5 July 2018 for his outstanding contributions to the MMA scene as a whole.
Dan Henderson | Awards and Accomplishments
Mixed Martial Arts
|1997||Brazil Open Tournament Champion|
|1998||UFC 17 Middleweight Tournament Champion|
|2000||RINGS King of Kings Absolute Tournament Champion|
|2005||Pride FC Bushido Welterweight Grand Prix Champion|
|2005||Pride FC Welterweight Champion|
|2007||Pride FC Welterweight Champion|
|2009||Pride FC Welterweight Champion|
|2011||Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion|
Here’s a video of Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier, fighting against each other:
|1993||US Open Senior National Champion|
|1993||USA University Greco Roman National Champion|
|1993||NCAA Qualifier (Arizona State University)|
|1992||US Olympian, Greco Roman (10th)|
|1991||USA University Greco Roman National Champion|
|1990||FILA Junior World Greco Roman Champion|
|1990||Amateur Wrestling News Freshman All American|
|1988||USA Junior National Freestyle and Greco Roman Champion|
|1988||California State Junior Freestyle Champion|
|1988||California Interscholastic Federation Championships, 5th|
|1987||California Interscholastic Federation Championships, 2nd|
|1998||Pan American Games bronze medalist|
|1997||US World Team member (7th)|
|1997||US Open Senior National Champion|
|1996||US Olympian, Greco Roman (12th)|
|1996||World Cup silver medalist|
|1995||Pan American Games bronze medalist|
|1994||US World Team member (12th) & 1997 (7th)|
|1994||US Open Senior National Champion|
|1994||World Cup silver medalist|
|1994||USA University Greco Roman National Champion mma champ temecula fitness|
|2000||Pan American Games Champion|
How old is Dan Henderson? | Height & Body
As of now, Henderson is 49 years old, with his birthday falling on the 24th of August. Furthermore, Dan retired from the MMA scene at the age of 45, reflecting the former UFC Middleweight champion’s quality and fitness. For instance, the California native fought for the UFC Middleweight Championship in his last fight against Michael Bisping.
How tall is Dan Henderson?
Even though Dan might look quite small on TV, Henderson stands at 5 feet 11 inches in reality. Some might say that the former Olympian is quite small for his division.
On the contrary, Dan has answered every question put forth by his opponents, whether big or small, short or tall, as suggested by his impressive haul of achievements.
To illustrate, the 49-year-old has won the Pride Middleweight and Welterweight Championship and Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Championship.
In conclusion, during his peak years, the California native could not only fight in several divisions against much bigger opponents but could also knock them out cold with his unbelievable punch knock-out power.
What is Dan Henderson’s Net Worth? | Fight Purse
At the time of writing, Henderson is worth $8 million, massive for an MMA fighter. Furthermore, during his time with the UFC, Dan was one of the most well-paid fighters.
It is mainly because the former UFC middleweight champion was also one of the best fighters fighting in several divisions.
For instance, the 49-year-old received over $1.54 million for his last two fights with the UFC.
First of all, at UFC 199, Henderson earned a staggering $860,000 which included $600,000 to show, $200,000 win bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, $30,000 Reebok sponsorship.
Secondly, the former Olympian received a total of $680,000 for his last fight for the UFC at UFC 204 in a Middleweight title fight against Michael Bisping. Similarly, Dan has earned a lot of money fighting for various MMA organizations contributing to the 49-year-old’s massive net worth.
Dan Henderson | Wife & Family
Henderson was born to his father, Bill Henderson, and his mother, who remains unknown. However, the details will be updated as soon as it is made known to the general public.
Also, Dan has one brother, Tom Henderson, and a sister named Selanee Henderson.
Furthermore, Dan is happily married to his wife, Rachel Malter, with two children, a daughter, Sierra Henderson, and a son, Reese Henderson.
Besides, the former UFC Middleweight champion has another two daughters whose names are shrouded in mystery. The two lovebirds married in 2014 after having a long relationship. Since then, there has been no controversy between the pair.
Similarly, the former Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight champion is a family-oriented guy. To illustrate, Henderson likes to spend most of his time with his four children and wife, as seen through various social media handles.
Contrarily, the 49-year-old was married before to Allison Henderson. But due to various unforeseen circumstances, the former couple got divorced with mutual consent. But, that was in the past, and therefore it should be left in the past.
As of now, Dan and Rachel are in a healthy six-year-long relationship with both of them, pleased and satisfied. So, it is safe to say that this will be the last time Henderson marries.
Dan Henderson | Social Media Presence
Instagram: 336,000 followers
Twitter: 511,000 followers
Facebook: 630,000 followers
Common Queries about Dan Henderson
What did Dan Henderson say about Michael Bisping? / What is the Dan Henderson – Michael Bisping issue?
Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping first became rivals when they appeared as opposite team coaches on the Ultimate Fighter. They then met each other in the octagon at UFC 100.
Henderson won the bout then gave Bisping one of the most devastating MMA knockouts. Bisping then took his revenge in 2016 at UFC 204 by claiming unanimous victory and defending the world title.
They have fought twice only but the intense rivalry was seen on Twitter when Henderson wrote:
“Enjoying the fights as much as possible while having to listen to Bisping.
“Happy anniversary to the night I put you to bed.”
Bisping replied with multiple tweets: “Yeah on steroids mate. You cheating c***.
“No honor, no surprise. Then I beat you with one eye. Get fucked sour b****.
“Never won the UFC belt. Don’t be sour you old w*****. Now disappear back to obscurity.
“Drinking again and reliving your old glory.
“All polite to my face and talk shit online. Didn’t have you down as a keyboard warrior.”
Does Dan Henderson wear fake teeth?
Dan Henderson lost his first teeth during wrestling practice. He then lost another while fighting against Randy Couture in Portland. He wears a mouthpiece. Here’s a picture of Henderson with his absent teeth:
What are Dan Henderson’s most popular fighting styles?
Dan Henderson fights in Greco-Roman wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts.