09-11-2013, 10:26 PM
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Dan Henderson on Vitor Belfortís TRT: I beat him when he was on steroids
Dan Henderson wants to prove he still have what it takes to defeat some of the best fighters in the world -- even when they are on steroids or testosterone replacement therapy.
Vitor Belfort tested positive for steroids (4-hydroxytestosterone) when he fought Dan Henderson on a PRIDE card in Las Vegas in 2006, and they are set to meet again on Nov. 9 in Goiania, Brazil, for UFC Fight Night 32.
Both fighters are using TRT for their fights, but "Hendo" doesnít believe itís fair since the Brazilian got caught in the past.
"It doesnít bother me, it is what it is," Henderson told MMAFighting.com Wednesday. "Thatís an issue with the commission. I beat him the first time when he was on steroids, I suppose it wonít make a difference."
Some fans claim that the UFC is hiding "The Phenom" in Brazil so that he can keep using the therapy, and Henderson agrees with that theory.
"Heís a star here too, but I think is primarily because of the TRT issue," he said. "He wouldnít be able to get that here because he tested positive the first time I fought him. They wonít give him an exemption for that."
Henderson will apply for an exemption (TUE) for his next fight, and heís confident "there won't be any issues."
"I donít take that much and Iím always testing myself during camps even when Iím not required because people accuse me," he said. "My levels are always normal."
Among a handful of fighters that use TRT in the UFC, Belfort is the one that hears most of the criticism. And Henderson believes he should.
"It could be because he tested positive in the past," he said. "Thatís part of the deal. You test positive in the past so people expect you took steroids for a long time."
To be fair, though, "Hendo" realizes Belfortís devastating knockout wins over Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold werenít exclusively because of TRT.
"I donít think so," he said. "Iíve been using TRT for a long time and it doesnít mean I havenít improved. I have to work my ass off in the gym to improve, so I donít think thatís why he won his last couple fights. He does that because he trains."
Henderson returns to Brazil 16 years after he last fought in the country where he made his MMA debut with stoppage victories over Crezio de Souza and Eric Smith in the same night. Fourteen of Hendersonís 29 MMA wins were against Brazilians, and he will have the chance to add another name to that list.
"Itís crazy when I think that my very first fights were in Brazil and now Iím coming back," he said. "Itís been so long, but Iím excited. Hopefully I have some Brazilian fans that will be rooting for me. Iím excited to go there and compete in Brazil. The sport is so huge down there.
"Usually wherever I go I donít feel like people donít like me. Iíve been around in this sport for a long time. Fighting against Vitor, itís been a long time also. He has done great things in the sport too, so it should be an entertaining fight for the fans."
Coming of two close decision losses to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans, Henderson "canít let that happen again". And thatís why heís training hard at Team Quest to "beat Vitor again."
"I expect to beat him," he said. "It could be a war. Last time we went the distance. I controlled and beat him pretty good for three rounds. I donít know how much I can say I beat him up, maybe a little bit, but I really want to show the fans Iím not done. I had two losses in a row and I could say I won both but it still would be considered losses."
Henderson says itís going to be an interesting fight, but that wasnít the opponent he was expecting for his return to the Octagon.
"That wasnít the type of fight I was looking for, I wanted one of the top 5 guys at 205 but for some reason Vitor called me out so I said Ďsure, whateverí," he said. "I donít know why he wants to fight me."