Pros Pick: Henderson vs. Machida

By: Mike Sloan
Feb 22, 2013
Dan Henderson has won his last four fights, finishing three of them. | Cliff Welch/Icon SMI

Two former world champions will lock horns on Saturday, when Lyoto Machida meets Dan Henderson in the UFC 157 “Rousey vs. Carmouche” co-main event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Their matchup brings with it significant title implications at 205 pounds, where a number of qualified fighters are vying for the next crack at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. touched base with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 157 co-headliner:

Benji Radach: I think I can already feel the tremors and seismic waves of that right hand. “Hendo” wins.

Joe Duarte: Henderson wins by knockout.

Mike Ciesnolevicz: Henderson is one of the all-time greats in MMA. I would go as far as to say top 5 ever, but everyone gets old at some point. I think the long layoff and the knee injury will be hard to overcome at his age, especially facing a guy like Machida, who is in his prime. Lyoto has amazing hand and foot speed to go along with his fakes. Machida is great at getting people out of position and then attacks from angles they are not used to seeing. Machida karate dominates this fight standing. I do not see it being a whole lot different from the Randy Couture fight. I’m not sure if Machida will finish “Hendo,” but he should be able to outpoint him pretty decisively. Karate isn't back; it never left.

Keith Berry: I’ve sparred with a lot of big names in MMA, but “Hendo” is by far one of the hardest hitters around. I believe he will find his range and land that nice overhand in the third to put Machida down.

Jeremy Stephens: Henderson wins.

Tom Lawlor: “Hendo” will slay “The Dragon,” or maybe KO him, or win a controversial decision, but he will win regardless.

Tarec Saffiedine: Dan wins by H-bomb in the second round.

Tom DeBlass: I believe Machida will pick his shots while staying on the outside, winning a decision victory.

Danillo Villefort: Lyoto by KO.

Steven Siler: Machida is going to use his footwork and land the Machida kick to KO Henderson.

Chris Clements: This is a really tough pick for me. I have sparred briefly with both of them. I have never been hit by anyone as hard as Henderson hit me, but Machida is almost impossible to hit with any traditional striking method. Logically, I think Machida wins a decision because he is too elusive, but my gut says Henderson simply because he is Dan Henderson.

Andy Ogle: How could I doubt “Hendo?” He’s a legend.

Mitch Clarke: I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Henderson by TKO or KO brought on by a “Hendo” right hand.

J.J. Ambrose: Lyoto is the modern-day Bruce Lee: elusive, uses all the martial arts and is just an all-around humble badass. Henderson is old-school, gritty, the consummate underdog that always seems to defy age and odds, a man I would never bet against. Henderson wins a hard decision in a great fight.

Jeff Hougland: I hope Henderson takes it, but I think Machida will win.

Myles Jury: Machida wins.

Max Holloway: Man, this is a hard one. I’m not going to choose on this one because I believe this fight depends on who fights his fight. It’s going to be amazing.

File Photo

Machida is 9-1 in judges’ decisions.
Igor Araujo: I have a lot respect for both guys, but I think Henderson can’t touch Lyoto. It will be almost like Machida-Bader. Machida wins by KO.

Caros Fodor: Have to go with Henderson on this. Lyoto is good, but Henderson has a great chin and great wrestling. Although I think it will be hard for Dan to get a hold of Lyoto, when he does, he will get him down. Also, Dan has that right hand, which can end anyone.

Johny Hendricks: This is a tough one. I want to say Dan because he won’t chase Lyoto like he wants. Dan is going to hold his position and KO him; then again, you have Lyoto, who is younger and in better shape and might get Dan to chase him or dance around him. I will go with Dan Henderson. I think he will get his hand raised at the end of that fight.

Nam Phan: Lyoto wins by Superman left cross.

Travis Lutter: I am going with Dan. Lyoto is hard to catch, but I think Dan will catch him.

Javier Vazquez: I’m rooting for “Hendo,” but I think Machida’s footwork is going to give him issues. Machida will outpoint Henderson in a not-so-thrilling fight. I think Machida is going to beat Henderson by decision.

Travis Wiuff: Never bet against Dan. I’m taking Henderson to win a very tough fight by decision.

Jacob Volkmann: That one is a hard one. I say Machida wins by unanimous decision.

Alan Belcher: I love “Hendo.” I’m a huge fan. I pick “Hendo” by decision. Hoping for an exciting fight.

Mark Bocek: “Hendo” wins by decision.

Kyle Kingsbury: I can’t decide. Gut says Lyoto. Heart wants “Hendo.”

Eric Prindle: I sure hope Henderson gets the win.

Robert Drysdale: Lyoto wins.

Colton Smith: Dan wins by utter ’Merica domination. Lyoto will be tough in the early going, but pressure against the fence and a big H-bomb will bring Lyoto’s night to an end.

John Gunderson: I’ve got Henderson, but he needs to have good cardio because Machida’s constant backing up and counter fighting attacks can damage and wear a fighter down quick. Henderson obviously has the power and wrestling advantage.

Bristol Marunde: Henderson has enough experience in the cage for a whole generation of fighters, but that won’t be enough to face and chase the elusive Machida. Henderson isn’t quite fast enough to land the H-bomb of a right hand. Machida might be boring, but he is equally difficult to fight. Machida wins by KO.

Zach Makovsky: Lyoto has too much movement and variety in his striking for Henderson to deal with. I see Machida getting a late second-round or third-round finish.

Mac Danzig: Both these guys are amazing fighters, and the style matchup is an interesting one. Unfortunately, I don’t know who’s going to win because I have not yet learned to use the iChing to predict the outcome of exact events in the future. This fight is, in many Internet MMA enthusiasts’ minds, a battle between urine therapy and testosterone replacement therapy. Which is the superior method of supplementation? Will future MMA professionals be lined up at their doctor’s offices after a late night of partying in hopes that their testosterone levels are low enough at that moment to warrant an exemption, allowing them to receive legal testosterone injections? Or, will they be rising early in the morning with an eye dropper full of urine in hand while reading Vedic scriptures as they ascend into peak physical and mental condition? Only time will tell. The future of MMA hangs in the balance. Be prepared.

Justin Salas: Henderson wins by toughness.

Brock Jardine: I am really a fan of both these guys. Both are role models and champions of the sport. I am going with Henderson because I’m hoping him and Chael will fight for the title and help promote and save Olympic wrestling.

Pros Picking Henderson: 18
Pros Picking Machida: 13
No Pick: 6

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