Dan Henderson responds to Hector Lombard, addresses retirement rumors

Long before they were opponents at UFC 199, Dan Henderson and Hector Lombard were briefly training partners at Team Quest in Temecula, Calif.

The Henderson-owned facility has been home to numerous UFC stars over the years. Lombard went there several years back and left with a sour taste in his mouth after a bad experience with veteran light heavyweight and middleweight contenders.

According to Lombard, Henderson failed to pay him much attention while he was training at the facility and didn't exactly welcome him with open arms.

Henderson's side of the story differs quite a bit. He says during the time when Lombard was at the gym, he wasn't training as much and they rarely worked together. But the future UFC middleweight gained a bad reputation amongst the other fighters.

"He was there for about three months. I traveled a lot and I was in and out of practices. I had no problem with him while he was there," Henderson told FOX Sports.

He was a little bit of a bully in the room and a lot of the guys didn't like him because he'd kind of go extra hard on guys that he was a lot better than or bigger than. -- Dan Henderson on Hector Lombard

"Some of the other guys would kind of step up and put him in his place. He never did anything like that while I was there so personally, he was fine but none of my guys like him at all."

According to Henderson, Lombard would routinely go after less skilled fighters or smaller fighters while he was training and that didn't sit very well with some of the other veterans in the room.

Henderson says he doesn't mind that fighters put everything into a training session or a hard sparring match, but Lombard would do that against teammates who weren't on his same level.

"I don't have a problem with that, it's when it's only against the guys that are that are a lot smaller or less skilled than you to feed into your ego," Henderson said. "He never did any of that with me, he never did it with anybody that was bigger or stronger than him."

Henderson doesn't have anything positive or negative to say about Lombard from the brief time they trained together, but he's happy to fight him in the Octagon this weekend at UFC 199.

Henderson was supposed to fight in April, but his opponent Lyoto Machida admitted to using a banned substance in the days leading up to the bout. It forced UFC officials to yank both competitors off the card at the last minute.

Henderson says he's still perturbed about that entire incident, but now he's just eager to get back in action. He hopes Lombard has been walking the straight and narrow so there's not another drug testing problem like his last fight.

Lombard sat out for year after testing positive for a banned substance in 2015. When he returned to action in March his performance against Neil Magny ended with a third-round TKO loss.

Whether that had anything to do with Lombard cleaning up or he just had an off night, Henderson just wants him to pass all the drug tests so he can fight this time.

"I think Neil Magny was just able to weather the original storm and Hector's gas tank got a little low. He couldn't finish the fight and Neil Magny was able to take him down and beat on him," Henderson said.

"I'm imagining some of that has to do with the drug testing and hopefully he stays clean and passes any drug tests for this fight. There's no way I could afford to not get paid twice in a row."

The fight with Lombard is also the final bout on Henderson's current contract with the UFC. At 45, speculation has been running rampant that the legendary middleweight might consider retirement in the near future.

Henderson isn't going to put a stamp on that decision right now, but he knows that he doesn't have that much time left. Still, he's going to enjoy every fight until it's over and since he's fighting on Saturday night, it's not over yet.

"I'm kind of going to make up that decision when I'm ready, I'll make sure that people know it. I'm getting close to the end, and I know that as well," Henderson said. "I'm just taking it day-by-day and fight by fight. I'm looking forward to getting through this fight and seeing what's next."