He's a three-time world champion and at one point was a beltholder concurrently in two mixed martial arts weight classes. Before that he was a two-time Olympian wrestler. He's won 29 fights in a 15-year MMA career, during which he's not even once been knocked out. His list of conquests includes fighters renowned enough to be known just by their first names: Fedor, Wanderlei, Vitor, and so on.
As if all of that weren't enough, we now find out he's also a magician. He can't saw a woman in half, pull a rabbit out of a hat or perform three-card Monte sleight of hand, but he's recently done the most remarkable trick of all: a disappearing act.
Dan Henderson will step in the octagon with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for the main event of UFC 151 on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas. But to hear some fans and even media talk, you'd think "Bones" were performing as a solo act. The most active online discussion of late regarding the 205-weight class: Would it be Lyoto Machida or "Shogun" Rua who next gets to challenge Jones? Even one of Henderson's friends and former training partners, Chael Sonnen, has announced a move up from middleweight and begun angling for a shot at the 25-year-old manchild Jones.
And off in the shadows stands Henderson, largely unnoticed.
Sure, Jones has so dominated everyone he's faced that it's easy to overlook his opposition, no matter how stout. And sure, Henderson turns 42 on Friday and, as superhuman as it might be to be competing at such a high level at his age, he's not faster than a speeding bullet and cannot leap tall buildings at a single bound. But, boy, that overhand right of his remains more powerful than a locomotive. Overlook it at your own peril.
This was the jumping-off point for our conversation when --