Dan Henderson’s Camp Has Issues with Ronda Rousey Headlining UFC 157

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Dan Henderson warms up backstage in his locker room before his bout against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua during the UFC 139 event at the HP Pavilion on November 19, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Dan Henderson’s striking coach, Gus Pugliese, made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t like his fighter playing second fiddle to the UFC 157 headliner, Ronda Rousey.

The Team Quest coach took to Facebook yesterday and aired his grievances about the first UFC women’s champ headlining a card over someone with a resume that he said is second to none.

Here is the post in its entirety:

The light heavyweight match-up between Henderson and Machida will be the February Pay-Per-View’s co-main event. Both fighters have headlined numerous Pay-Per-Views in the past, while Rousey’s largest audience was that of the premium cable channel, Showtime. UFC 157 will be Rousey’s UFC debut, and the first time the company features women inside the octagon.

UFC president Dana White has defended Rousey headlining the card, saying “she’s the real deal” on multiple occasions. She’ll get the opportunity to prove that on Feb. 23 at Anaheim, Calif.’s Honda Center.

Requests for further comment from Pugliese were not answered at the time of this publication.

(UPDATE, 11:21 a.m. PT)

Pugliese responded to GRACIEMAG.com and added that he’s a firm believer in working your way up to earn what you get.

“Where I come from, there’s a pecking order for anything in life,” he said. “I believe in paying dues. In this particular case, ‘Hendo’ and Machida paid their dues a long time ago. For someone new to come in and have a free ride just seems unfair to them and the whole sport they helped build.”

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There are 39 comments for this article
  1. Patrick Michael Hennessy at 7:39 pm

    Terrible. In my opinion Ronda is by far a better fighter then Hendo. Her resume is as good if not better when you consider the Olympic achievements. She goes in and does what I used to do to my sisters dolls to actual people who are resisting. throws them and rips off a limb. Hendo? spazzes and punches things he lays on.

    • Cody Vidal at 7:40 pm

      Are you being serious or just trolling?
      If you are serious, I'm sure playing with your sister's dolls has a lot to do with it because based on your comments, you have no fucking idea how to fight.

    • Patrick Michael Hennessy at 7:41 pm

      and that's just to the whole who has a better resume part. Its also the FIRST WOMEN'S UFC FIGHT. That deserves the headlining spot alone. Its huge. It's a huge risk for the biggest venue and it shows Dana's commitment to the change.

    • Tom Hays at 7:46 pm

      Comparing who the better fighter is does not work in this case, regardless if I think Dan Henderson is in a completely different league, (Mainly due to the fact that female mma pool of talent is very very small). With that said, this is more of a jab at the legitimacy of MMA as a sport, and how marketing and money are the primary drives, (but that's how business function sadly).

    • Michael Sanford at 8:34 pm

      You do realize Hendo was an olympic wrestler, right? As far as MMA goes there is no way to justify what you just said. Hendo has a far more impressive resume, however, I do think the UFC is right putting her as the main event. the first women's fight in UFC history for a title with a very popular icon in the sport will surely be a big draw, much bigger then hendo and lyoto

  2. Jerad Deal at 10:44 pm

    It's just business. If there is a title on the line they are always going to get the main event. Name one time that the title fight was before a non title fight. It doesn't matter who's better than who. Let's face it Henderson would beat the shit out of Ronda Rousey. But we'll never see the fight. Just enjoy the show when the night comes because everyone who doesn't think it's right will still pay to watch.

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  15. The Submission Channel at 7:14 pm

    Ronda Rousey submits people; that is all I have to say about that.

    There is no reason to have sour grapes about anything. Both fights are going to happen so Mssr. Pugliese's declaration that "we could be missing another historic 5 rds fight" is quite dubious since NSAC and CSAC permit fights of significance to be five rounders, main event or otherwise. Rousey headlining does not prohibit Hendo/Machida from being five rounds. – E

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