Henderson missing his family, the Ultimate test

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 2:32 PM ET

Dan Henderson knows black eyes and bruises are the realities of being a mixed-martial artist.

But the California scrapper says the toughest part of being a pro fighter is the time spent away from his family.

"My wife does a great job putting up with my travel schedule and my kids, they're the ones I hear from more than anything," says the new coach of The Ultimate Fighter that will pit American fighters against Michael "The Count" Bisping's U.K. squad.

"It's just tough being away from the kids (he and wife Alison have three) and there are a lot of things I'd like to be a part of. So, it's tough, but it's not going to be forever."

Filming the reality TV show forced Henderson to be in Las Vegas for a longer-than-normal stretch.

Henderson says Season 9 of the UFC show boasts some great fights and the country vs. country format worked well to breed solidarity among teammates.

'FEEL MORE PRIDE'

"I think definitely having the country aspect to it helped the teams come together a little bit," says the 38-year-old Henderson.

"And I'm sure you guys will all see that once it starts to air. They definitely come together and feel a little bit more pride, I guess, on how they do. They're not just there for just themselves. They're helping each other out quite a bit."

Following Season 9, Henderson will battle Bisping at UFC 100 in a middleweight bout.

Bisping, the Season 3 winner, said he's looking forward to the fight.

"To fight on UFC 100 is a great honour," he said.

"I look forward to fighting Dan. He's a fantastic fighter and legend in this sport."

The Ultimate Fighter kicked off a new season this week and airs on Spike TV and Sportsnet.

UFC 100 will take place in Las Vegas July 11.

JOSE.RODRIGUEZ@SUNMEDIA.CA


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