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View Full Version : Strikeforce's Dan Henderson: "Now There Is Another Option"


snakerattle79
12-10-2009, 06:12 PM
http://mmajunkie.com/news/17132/strikeforces-dan-henderson-now-there-is-another-option.mma

When rumblings began several months back that Dan Henderson (25-7) might be walking away from the UFC, many viewed the former PRIDE champ's negotiations with Strikeforce as mere posturing.

When Strikeforce announced on Monday that Henderson had officially signed on with the promotion, many began to wonder who might be next.

Today, Henderson told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he wouldn't be surprised if more top-level fighters follow his example and explore options outside of the sport's biggest promotion.

"It's inevitable," Henderson said. "For a while, there wasn't any other options, and fighters were not really keen on that idea of not having a place to shop around. They weren't real happy with the UFC kind of having a monopoly on everything. It's their way or the highway, and now there is another option. That makes [fighters] feel a little more comfortable."

UFC president Dana White has repeatedly said Henderson's contract expectations were unrealistic during their recent negotiations. Henderson believes that to be untrue, and he said he was very happy with what Strikeforce was able to offer.

"I'm pretty happy with every aspect of [my Strikeforce contract]," Henderson said. "I'm excited to be able to fight on CBS that seems like it would be a pretty cool deal and to be able to bring new fans to the sport, which is what's going to happen with CBS."

The network-television deal Strikeforce has with CBS will undoubtedly expose Henderson to new fans. And Henderson believes he'll be able to do the same for Strikeforce as the organization centers on him as a focus of its U.S. marketing.

"I believe that was their objective by signing me," Henderson said. "They want to make sure that they use me as their marquee guy in the U.S.

"Fedor Emelianenko, as great as he is of a fighter, he's not that well-known in the U.S., and he doesn't speak English. It's a little tougher for them to send him out to different shows to help market Strikeforce."

Additionally, Henderson thinks Emelianenko would actually be an ideal opponent for him at some point during his new contract. But current middleweight champ Jake Shields and light heavyweight title holder Gegard Mousasi are also on his radar.

"There will be bouncing around, I'm sure, based on the fact that there's a lot of guys that are interesting and big challenges, and they're not all in the same weight class at Strikeforce," Henderson said. "We'll see what happens.

"If I was the only guy over there and would walk through everybody that they had, I wouldn't have gone over. Strikeforce has some guys that are going to challenge me. I don't do this just for the money or whatever. I do it for the challenge. If none of these matchups were going to excite me or give me goosebumps, then I'm not going to do it. I do have goosebumps thinking about pretty much all three of their champions at those weight classes."

Henderson said he's not sure when he'll debut for the organization, but he's certain it will be broadcast on CBS. The former dual-weight class title holder also needs to figure out in which division he'll first compete.

"[My first Strikeforce fight] will be on the next CBS show, and I'm not sure when that is," Henderson said. "I've still got about four months, probably. We're not exactly sure of the date.

"Pretty much, after the first of the year, when the dust settles, I'm going to kind of figure out what weight class I want to fight."

Whether or not Henderson made the right move in coming to Strikeforce will be determined in the coming years. But after feeling disrespected by the UFC for a variety of reasons including a less-than-desired contract offer and the hesitance to grant Henderson a second shot at Anderson Silva the 39-year-old said he feels very comfortable with his decision.

Time well tell whether others follow "Hollywood's" lead.

"I was happy with every aspect of [the Strikeforce offer], money included," Henderson said. "Obviously, they were really adamant about wanting to try and sign me, so obviously they were very respectful. Dana has a reputation of not being so respectful. That's just how he is, and I think the fans know that. They also know and respect the fact that Dana's done a lot of great things for MMA. I appreciate that as well.

"I don't have any hard feelings. It is what it is now, and I finally decided where my next fight's going to be. I'm excited to start training and getting in shape and going over there to beat somebody up in Strikeforce."