MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Fabio Maldonado Calls Out Dan Henderson

Fabio Maldonado “The Iron Hillbilly” has officially called out the fighter with one of the most iron chins in mixed martial arts history. Brazilian Fabio Maldonado, who picked up a unanimous decision win over Gian Villante at this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 38 event, wrote on Twitter yesterday that he would like to fight Dan Henderson, who of course knocked out Shogun Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 38. In a message to his fans, Maldonado wrote: “Thank all for the support. I was very happy to fight at @ufc Natal. I’m a big fan of @danhendo┬áit would be an honor and a dream to fight him” He then followed up that message with two directly to UFC president Dana White, which said: “thank you for the good words. I want to have a chance to fight my idol @danhendo. @ufc 5 rounds,” and “I know I have a lot to improve but I’m a 5 rounds fighter. @ufc It would be a great fight for the fans and dream come true to me.” And finally, Maldonado wrote directly to Henderson and said: “I’m a big fan of yours. It would be a dream and an honor if you gave me the chance to fight you.” As soon as these tweets went out, members of the MMA community started talking about the matchup, and it seems like the majority are down to see the fight between these two light heavyweights, one that would put Maldonado’s legendary chin and elite boxing skills up against Henderson’s own legendary chin and powerful right hand. Personally, though, while I do love this fight from a stylistic point of view, I don’t see it happening as I just can’t see Henderson accepting the bout. Although Maldonado is a very solid fighter and a fight against Henderson would no doubt be entertaining for the fans, Henderson is used to fighting the cream of the crop of the sport, fighters ranked in the top five or former champions. So while Maldonado is a good, if not great fighter, he’s not someone who will interest “Hendo” at the moment considering Henderson has said his goal is to fight for the light heavyweight title and the win over Shogun put him back on track in the division after his three-straight losses to Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, and Lyoto Machida. I don’t think there are many out there who appreciate Maldonado’s fighting style more than me, but even I don’t feel like this is a fight that makes sense for Henderson, as I feel he should get a top-10 opponent the next time out. I think Daniel Cormier makes sense even though he is ranked higher than “Hendo,” but fights against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and the loser of Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira could also work. As for Maldonado, while he was the one calling out Henderson yesterday, he himself was also called out by Ovince St-Preux, who wrote on his Twitter that he’d like to fight Maldonado. I think that a fight between OSP and Maldonado makes a ton of sense from a divisional point of view, and from a stylistic point of view it makes sense to as OSP’s ground skills would go up against Maldonado’s striking skills. Regardless, both Maldonado and Henderson are studs and the UFC will no doubt find each man a compelling and suitable matchup for their next outings. For now, though, we play the waiting game.

Written by Adam Martin.

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