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In Pride, mixed martial arts (MMA) great Dan Henderson outlines the difference between competing in the octagon of the UFC and fighting in the ring. “You had to be more technical,” Henderson says.


Recently, Dan Henderson discussed his experiences fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Pride, providing an explanation as to whether or not participating in an octagon is distinct from battling in a ring.

Throughout his career, the mixed martial arts (MMA) icon earned a great deal of success and was a previous champion of two divisions in the promotion that was based in Japan. During his interview on the Jaxxon Podcast, the 53-year-old fighter shared with his former adversary Quinton “Rampage” Jackson that he needed to adopt a more strategic approach when battling in the ring as opposed to the octagon:

“In the ring, you have the ability to cut somebody off and corner them more easily…You are utilizing the cage in order to go up, and when you are on top of the person, it is much simpler for you to control him. My impression is that you need to have a higher level of technical expertise in order to complete a fight in a ring as opposed to a cage since you can’t utilize the ring to imprison somebody too much. (From 10:51 to 11:13)
“When Jackson questioned which ruleset he favored because he won two championships in Pride under their rulebook, “Hendo” responded that both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but that he would be in favor of the UFC’s ruleset if they made a few improvements, saying: the UFC’s ruleset would be more favorable if they made a few modifications.

On the whole, I agree with the rules. You know, I had the impression that the rules here [UFC] could simply be amended to include knees to the head during the ground fight. “Not only did Pride not have elbows, but it also did not have soccer kicks or head stomps, which was something that I liked.” (From 11:17 to 11:38)

Because Henderson was successful in both the ring and the octagon, his explanation provides spectators with the opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of how boxers approach each of these arenas.

Dan Henderson reflects on knocking out Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce

Recently, Dan Henderson reflected on his knockout victory over Fedor Emelianenko, who had previously held the title of Pride heavyweight champion. The fight took place in 2011 and was the main event of a Strikeforce event.

‘Hendo’s final match with the organization before returning to the UFC was held at this event, which ended up delivering fans with a moment that they will remember for a long time. During his debut, the former Pride champion who had won two divisions stated that he did not anticipate knocking out Emelianenko in the first round since he anticipated a much longer fight:

What I was anticipating was that I would have to go at least two or three rounds before I would possibly be able to wear him out. Getting him in the clinch and putting him through a lot of stress was going to be my plan. (From 37:57 to 38:07)

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