Dan HendersonFor the first time since making his debut in 1997, UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson has gone more than a full year without seeing action. The 42-year old’s recent absence from the Octagon was due to a combination of things including his desire to wait for a crack at champion Jon Jones and an unfortunate knee injury sidelining him since early September.

However, Henderson doesn’t plan on repeating the period of inactivity in 2013 starting with a February fight against Lyoto Machida at UFC 157. In fact, if he has his way, “Hendo” will be mixing it up with opponents at least a handful of times after his meeting with Machida before fully exploring the idea of retirement.

“I have at least two more fights ahead of me next year, so I guess that would make at least two more fights after that,” confirmed Henderson in an interview with TATAME.

The fan-favorite also explained that his performances in the ring aren’t likely to influence his interest in continuing to compete, admitting he certainly wants to become a UFC champion before calling it quits but draws his internal fire from matters other than the idea of gold around his waist.

“My goal is not the UFC belt – it is to keep winning,” said Henderson. “The belt is a motivation, it is something I want because I think I can win, but it isn’t everything.”

A UFC title is the one major belt Henderson has yet to acquire in his career, laying claim to straps in PRIDE and Strikeforce. He holds an overall record of 29-8 including wins in his last four fights and success over some of the sports biggest stars like Michael Bisping, Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, and Mauricio Rua.