“Did you guys happen to catch the video of Dan Henderson throwing a leg kick over the weekend?” asked ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen in his January 4, 2021 YouTube video titled, “Dan Henderson’s Leg Kick….” According to Sonnen, an original Team Quest member who is likely intimately familiar with the legendary power of Henderson, “And I think that’s how it was titled. Like, ‘Dan Henderson throws monster leg kick,’ explained Sonnen. "It was something along these lines. And I remember thinking, 'Okay, that must be an archive fight from the past. I’ve seen all of Dan’s fights and I don’t ever remember him throwing a monster leg kick. Like, this was just what my thoughts,” reflected Sonnen in initially trying to recall where the footage may have originally came from considering the man simply known as "Hendo" has been retired since 2016.
“So, I click on it. I click on it and I open it up,” explained Sonnen. “And I’m thinking, ‘Maybe this was in the PRIDE days and Dan caught somebody in the leg?' I don’t remember that. Well, no. “It was done like the previous day and put out on social media. So, here’s the setup. Dan Henderson is standing there."
“The video opens up; Dan Henderson is standing there. He’s got a jacket on, relevant to the story which I will tie in later. There is a very handsome young man standing in front of him who apparently Dan is getting ready to leg kick. And it was never made clear to me through the video if this guy wanted (to be) leg kicked?"
"Like, if they were at a party and this guy was just peer pressured into taking a leg kick or if he had told Dan, ‘Give me a leg a kick. I want to see what it’s like. I want to feel it.’ And that’s a real thing,” explained Sonnen.
“At any rate,” continued Sonnen, “Dan kinda measures it up - boom! Hits him with a leg kick. A proper leg kick will go into a person’s thigh and it will be thrown with your shin, not your foot. Dan does a proper leg kick. I mean it’s like kicking a heavy bag. The guy is standing there, Dan lines up – boom! So the guy just turns and he makes this grimacing face of pain. He turns away, end of shot,” explains Sonnen with his hands up and out for added emphasis and measure.
“So that’s the entire video that you have. I’m trying to deduce what happened here?” asked Sonnen.
Interestingly, according to a December 27, 2020 YouTube video titled, “Jon Fitch Knows Nothing ep. #93: 2020 Year in Review,” when asked about a now infamous sparring session with Henderson that happened many years ago, the American Kickboxing Academy representative went on to elaborate on the story in stating, “Dan Henderson? Big right hand. But it wasn’t that he mauled me,” explained Fitch. “It was that he threw a leg kick and I checked it. We were wearing shin pads. And it…it like bruised my soul. It bruised my soul,” admitted Fitch rather matter of factly as he looked back on what was surely a challenging learning experience to say the least.
“It was the worst," explained Fitch. "The absolute worst feeling I’ve ever had in my body and I’ve liked torn ligaments or whatever. It was... it was awful. It was like the deepest bruise; it seriously bruised my soul. And like I couldn’t even put my feet, foot down on the mat to put pressure on it and it happened in like the first 45-seconds of sparring," said Fitch. "And I’m like, this is Dan Henderson. I’m not going to waste this opportunity to spar with Dan Henderson. Because this was even before like Strikeforce and that stuff. And man, I’m like oh my God. It’s like I toughed it out and he would keep throwing right hands,” explained Fitch.
“It wasn’t terrible,” Fitch continued. “But I couldn’t clinch him. I couldn’t take him down and he’s super strong,” Fitch recalled of the once in a lifetime opportunity for most to spar with the two-time Olympian and bonified mixed martial arts legend..
“And as I read more,” continued Sonnen on the subject of the newly minted Dan Henderson leg kick social media video, "it turns out that this boy in question who was kicked is Dan’s daughter Sierra’s boyfriend. Now I haven’t seen Sierra since 2014, but she was a senior in high school so she must be graduated from college? Somewhere around 24, 25 years old. This might be the first guy that she brought around? I don’t know that part, but I know I’m close,” hypothesized Sonnen.
“Now I’m wondering why he got kicked? Did he ask to be kicked and potential father-in-law decides it’s a good idea? I’m trying to break down the video, but I don’t have any more clues than I just laid out for you. The jacket was relevant though because it tells me okay, he’s; Dan’s wearing a jacket. He either just arrived or he’s just getting ready to leave,” reasoned Sonnen in channeling his inner Columbo.
“If he just arrived to the event to the point that he hasn’t even had time to take his coat off yet...walks up and kicks the guy; I don’t know how this whole thing got started or if it’s Dan’s way out the door of the party and maybe there was some drinking involved and the guy asked to be kicked? I don’t know," admitted Sonnen. "But I can tell you stories like this. Matt Hughes was somewhere and somebody asked Matt Hughes to choke him," explained Sonnen.
“Now this was going around," Sonnen continued. "The rear naked choke was like a thing that was going around at a point in time. And this story goes back to like 2004, 2006. So, Matt obliges and the person either taps late or forgets to tap and when Matt lets go - they come down to the ground and they hit their head. They end up suing Matt Hughes is the point. That is the point I’m trying to make," said Sonnen.
“Even though they asked for this. Matt obliged; the whole thing is (on) video, which was their idea. Matt got sued. I don’t know how that lawsuit ended but I can tell you that’s real,” explained Sonnen whose ultimate point was surely that volunteering to be leg kicked or choked out by UFC legends is a pretty bad idea. And likely something the fighters themselves should think twice about doing in the future due to the fact accidents and unforeseen consequences and events happen all of the time. If perennial MMA juggernaut Jon Fitch found Dan Henderson’s leg kicks soul crushing after both checking the leg kick and wearing shin pads; chances are pretty good Sierra’s boyfriend will no doubt be referring to Dan as Mr. Henderson from this point forward.