Dan Henderson is a former amateur wrestler and retired professional mixed martial artist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in martial arts of all time. During his time, Henderson, popularly known as Hendo, dominated all martial weight classes and was the first mixed martial artist to hold two titles in two different weight classes simultaneously.
Before he turned to MMA fighting, Henderson was praised for his wrestling achievements, which earned him admission to the California Wrestling Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, among many other honors.
Dan Henderson was born Daniel Jeffery Henderson on August 24, 1970, in Downey, an urban settlement southeast of Los Angeles, California. As he grew up, his family moved to Apple Valley, also in California, where he attended Victor Valley High School.
Henderson’s competitive spirit was noticed by his parents at an early age when he and his brother were reportedly involved in repeated skirmishes. This prompted them to encourage their boys to channel their energy into something productive by joining the school’s wrestling team where their father was an assistant coach.
Dan Henderson competed in freestyle wrestling but later concentrated on Greco-Roman wrestling where he excelled. In 1987, he was part of the school team that was crowned state champion at the California State Championships after finishing second as a lone wrestler. The following year his school retained the state title, but Henderson himself finished fifth as a lone wrestler. This disappointment proved to be the motivation he needed to win national crowns at the National Junior Championships in both freestyle and Greek-Roman wrestling.
After high school, Henderson attended California State University Fullerton and then Arizona State University, where he continued wrestling. He was University National Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling in 1991, 1993, and 1994, which gave him the opportunity to represent the United States at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, as well as the Pan American and World Championships in wrestling.
In 1997, Dan Henderson began to try his hand at mixed martial arts while continuing to wrestle. He found early success when he was crowned champion in the first tournament he entered, the Brazil Open Lightweight Tournament. Less than a year later, he won his second tournament, UFC 17, where he fought famously with a broken jaw. In 1999, Henderson won his third tournament, the Rings: King of Kings, and was eventually recognized as a force in the sport.
After these successes and his failure to qualify for the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2001 World Championships, Henderson decided to focus on an MMA career, which turned out to be the best decision he had ever made. Over the course of his career, he played a total of 47 games, winning 32 and losing 15.
Dan Henderson’s most notable MMA fights were against Kazuo Misaki, the first fighter under 205 pounds to lose to, Quinton Rampage Jackson at UFC 75, Anderson Silva at UFC 82, Michael Bisping at UFC 100, where Henderson became the first man to kick Bisping k. o., and then his two fights against Mauricio Rua at UFC 139, which was described as the greatest fight in UFC history and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, and then at UFC Fight Night 38.
Family – Wife Rachel Malter and Daughters
Dan Henderson is married to his longtime girlfriend Rachel Malter. He proposed to her at the Henderson family/team’s annual pork roast in 2014. Within an hour after he got down on his knees to ask for her hand in marriage, they exchanged their marriage vows, as Henderson had already bought her a dress and an acting pastor was on standby.
Henderson has three children, two of whom are from previous relationships. They are the daughter’s Sierra and Danielle and the son Reese Henderson.
Dan Henderson’s Net Worth
Since Dan Henderson has fought at the highest level in mixed martial arts, he has certainly made himself a wealthy man. When you add that to his other business ventures, which include owning an MMA training camp, a sports fitness center, and a fighting club, it is no surprise that Henderson has a reported net worth of around $6 million.
Height, Weight and Other Facts
Birth Name: Daniel Jeffery Henderson
Date of Birth: August 24, 1970
Place of Birth: Downey, California, U.S.A
Height: 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm)
Weight: 84 kg (185 lbs.)
Profession(s): Wrestler, Mixed Martial Artist