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Dana White: ‘I guarantee you 1,000 percent that Dan Henderson is signed by Strikeforce’

Dan HendersonWith the ongoing rumors about where free-agent Dan Henderson will be fighting, UFC President Dana White stated, he’s already signed with Strikeforce.

White was recently quoted by Yahoo! Sports as saying, “I guarantee you 1,000 percent that Dan Henderson is signed by Strikeforce. Dan and I have been friends and we will continue to be friends, but it just didn’t work out and he went to Strikeforce.”

However, while White was adamant about Henderson’s new home, Iole caught up with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, while in Chicago promoting Saturdays Fedor vs. Rogers fight.

“Honestly, I got a call from Dan’s management a couple of days ago telling me Dan had turned down the UFC’s offer,” Coker said. “I guess the UFC made an offer and put a deadline on it. They turned it down and were calling to talk to me, but I told him I have this huge fight and there’s a tremendous amount going on and I couldn’t really deal with it at this point. Everyone who watches MMA knows the kind of fighter Dan Henderson is,” Coker said. “He’s a tough, aggressive, fun guy to watch. Who wouldn’t want a guy like that? Of course we do, and that’s why we’ve spoken with them. Honestly, though, we don’t have a deal with him yet. I’ve been up to my eyeballs working on this fight and I just haven’t had time to deal with that yet.”

Although the rumors will continue until a contract is signed, one thing is for certain, Dan Henderson is a very desirable commodity these days. The former PRIDE champion could make an instant run at Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Gegard Mousasi, should he sign with the organization. He would bring instant credibility to an organization that has been bolstering its roster on an almost daily basis.

On the flip side to that, with fighters falling due to injuries, the UFC is in need of re-signing the former middleweight and light heavyweight contender. Henderson has proven himself among the elite fighters in both divisions and shown he is still a force within the organization.

28 COMMENTS
  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    This is monumental news, to say the least, if it pans out to be true. Let’s see if this doesn’t turn out to be like the “Tito Ordeal”

    I really couldn’t blame Henderson for doing this, if it is true, and neither should anyone else. You get promised a title shot, then get the carpet yanked out from under your feet. That’s BS in my opinion.

    Why the Vitor fight with Franklin? They should have had a #1 contender fight between Vitor and Dan. That would have been a great headliner.

    I think the UFC screwed up pretty royally on this one.

  • David Andrest says:

    the interesting side note is the UFC has fighters dropping like flys these days.

    BJ Penn is their only healthy champion, Henderson’s barganing power with the UFC will never be stronger than it is right now.

    Is he a 500K per fight guy…….I dont’ know. Do people purchase PPV’s to watch him fight??

    But he is in a good spot none the less.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Agreed.

    With Silva & Machida going under the knife as of late, and Brock’s battle with Mono, makes you worry about the immidiate future.

    I’m a guy that likes to see title fights, as the rest of us surely are. Looks like we’ll get to see a bunch of contender fights in the meantime……

    Still rooting for Tito against Forrest though. Let the hate begin…….

  • Pajamashark says:

    I guarantee you 1,000% that Dana White has never met a hyperbole he didn’t like.

  • jding3 says:

    I won’t believe this until I hear Strikeforce break the news, but why would Dana wanna break the news about one of his better fighters signing with the competition. Something seems odd about that. Besides that I hope these rumors are true that’d be huge for Strikeforce

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    I can’t see the UFC being able to fulfill their stated goals for 2010 regarding events and PPVs without “overpaying” somebody along the line. If you’re going to get toasted for overpaying, do you ‘overpay’ an established fighter like Henderson, or do you overextend yourself on three Amir Sadollah type guys?
    There’s not enough name fighters around to sell PPVs, I can’t see letting Dan slip away unless you see the Strikeforce expansion as being a two or three and done like Affliction. Maybe the UFC is bleeding a little today to buy the whole basket tomorrow?
    Strange confluence of events with all the injuries and illnesses plaguing what has historically been a great season of fights for the UFC. Seems like a dicey time for the big promo. I probably see more sense in keeping an expensive Henderson. Either that or fold in the WEC right now and fill the gaps with Brown, Faber, Henderson and Cerrone. Those are great, great fights those guys have coming up in the first quarter of 2010 – sure wouldn’t hurt the UFC right now to actually have an attraction with practically every belt sidelined.

  • dpk says:

    I’ll believe it when I hear it from Dan Henderson and Scott Coker standing next to each other, or Marquardt announces a fight against another opponent. I think this is Dana trying to force Dan’s hand, because lets face it Dan isn’t getting any younger. If Dan Henderson had stayed in the US and had wars with guys like Frank/Ken Shamrock, Tito, Chuck, Vitor(In UFC) or he could have dominated the MW division beating guys like Evan Tanner and David Loiseau, and then he would be considered in the same light as Randy these days, and his contract demands would be met. The reality is that his biggest victories and title reigns happened in Japan so he will never have the same name value with casual American fans who generate the large majority or Zuffa’s money.

    I agree, that UFC could fill the gaps with WEC’s champions and big names. Those guys could fill right into the top of UFC PPVs, and then we would never have a PPV without at least one title fight on it. I hope this happens as some point, because it will add depth to all PPV events making them more worth the money.

  • Angry Mike says:

    If UFC’s offer had a deadline, White is saying that he’s out of the game for now. That way Henderson can’t “shop” UFC’s offer with Strikeforce, because there isn’t one. Since Henderson doesn’t have an offer on the table, his bargaining position with Strikeforce is diminshed. If he gets an offer from Strikeforce, they can also put a deadline on it so he can’t shop their offer with UFC. There’s a realistic possibility this costs him money in the long run. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    tell me something i don’t know

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I think Henderson realizes he has no chance of getting a title in the ufc. In Strikeforce he has a great chance of becoming a two division champion again, so I think he will lean towards SF. A fight between Mousasi and Henderson would be great but would favor Henderson a bit, and weather its Miller or Sheilds who has the MW title Henderson would be a huge favirote. If Henderson has signed with SF we the fans are probably going to see for the first time in the U.S. a two division champ.

  • BigDave says:

    fanoftna33: I think Henderson realizes he has no chance of getting a title in the ufc. In Strikeforce he has a great chance of becoming a two division champion again, so I think he will lean towards SF. A fight between Mousasi and Henderson would be great but would favor Henderson a bit, and weather its Miller or Sheilds who has the MW title Henderson would be a huge favirote. If Henderson has signed with SF we the fans are probably going to see for the first time in the U.S. a two division champ.

    Hendo going to strikeforce would be good for his wallet but bad for his health. He may make a close fight with miller or sheilds although i think he loses to both but mousasi will destroy him. Hendo no matter where he ends up will never be a champ again because he just isnt as good as he was and guys there now are just too good. So Dan take the cash and try not to get to hurt.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    good luck hendo
    i dont see the UFC being on the losing end here. They have enough YOUNGER and more MULTI talneted fighters in MW and LHW that they can put out there.
    As much as a prick Dana is i dont see him sweating this one out at all.
    Hendo can probaley get 4 decent fights out of SF but than what?? and they wont be on the same pay scale that Hendo seems to only thinking about.
    Hey Ozz rampage was in line for a title fight and it was taken away for him but nobodys seems to be crying for him???? Dana even admitted to it. Shit happens all the time. Okami was also in line for a shot before he got hurt and then never got a sniff at since. I know he is boring to some people (not me) but just cause you got hurt dosent mean you lose your shot.
    like i said shit happens.
    I too love title fights but with all the title holders gettting hurt how does keeping hendo help that??? He dosent have a title.
    Sorry but in the long run and the future of UFC why would you pay someone more than your title holders???? what cause he was the man years ago in Japan
    like i started good luck hendo
    Lets see how fast this post will get the nobody likes it with all the tumbs downs.

  • HonorableAggression says:

    Honestly, and I know people will disagree, I think hendo is undoubtedly a legend but he just isn’t a draw like he used to be, and I don’t see him getting a strap in the near future until anderson vacates. I personally don’t feel he’s worth a huge contract but that’s just me. I honestly think its kind of pathetic that he’s gonna be in strikeforce, he’s pretty far above their average level of competition, but whatever works for him.
    I think no-one really has enough info to take the side of UFC or Hendo on this, only they know whats really going on, so all speculation is just that. I could believe Zuffa are flat out lying and not respecting him enough, but I could also believe Hendo is asking for way more than he’s worth in a purely business sense, which, lets be honest, is what this is. Business.

  • Makington says:

    I agree with Honourable on this one. Hendo just isn’t the kind of draw to me anymore that he once was. And let’s not forget that it’s Kevin Iole reporting this so far. If there was an award for the absolute worst UFC reporter, it’d be a gimmie for him. This is the guy who said the only reason Shogun lost his fight with Machida is because his corner was telling him he was winning…

    I think he could beat Miller or Shields for the MW SF title, but I don’t know about Mousasi. He definitely could, but he could also definitely lose. At this point it’s all about money, and I’d rather some straight up answers between Dana and Dan instead of these cryptic pseudo-messages they keep volleying back and forth. I hope he signs soon because although he isn’t the biggest draw to me anymore, I still love watching him fight.

  • edub says:

    ozz_the_powerful: Why the Vitor fight with Franklin? They should have had a #1 contender fight between Vitor and Dan. That would have been a great headliner.

    This.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Regardless of whether he’ll ever be a title contender, I was hoping for a rematch between Henderson and the resurgent Belfort. Henderson won by decision in ’06 in Pride, but Belfort is a new man.

  • Makington says:

    Belfort is a new man, and Henderson is an old man.

    I would have gone for Belfort in a rematch.

  • slayer6 says:

    Dan Henderson got treated like a little whore by Dana “The Dictator” White, plain and simple. To go out and fight Bisping being told that if you won your fighting for the title against the champ, a guy who beat you and your dying to fight again, but once you win they say you need to fight one more guy to get that shot? Id say fuck you to Dana also. He treats his fighters like shit. I hope Dan goes to Strikeforce and has a successful career and brings a shitload of his fans with him. Dana just makes you hate the UFC. (but i still watch em all)

  • Niv says:

    I’m one of the few that thinks there’s still some gas in Hendo’s tank, and I also believe that a rematch with Anderson Silva could possibly go his way (yup I’m serious).

    I do believe that the Spider is one of the best fighters in the world period. However he has been beaten before and by lesser opponents than Hendo.

    I believe Hendo showed and proved to himself that he can hang with Silva, but he got outsmarted in their first fight even after completely dominating Silva in the first round.

    My point here isn’t that he would definitely win against Silva, but I can’t write Hendo off as being finished as so many are trying to say here.

    Hendo is a genuine mma star and the UFC has the hype machine to build anyone up they please if that’s what some are concerned about here.

    The bottom line here is Hendo is still marketable, he’s still a genuine threat and he has earned the right to a very good paycheque. Dana White and Zuffa will find out the hard way eventually that you can’t keep underpaying and expect to stay the top organization and keep the talent where they are.

    SF is a viable option now for many top fighters, and if things go as I suspected with a good network deal bigger paydays for fighters could be around the corner.

    Good luck to Hendo wherever he goes.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Hendo, Jacare, Sheilds, Lawler, Mayhem, Smith, Villasenor, Rua, Misaki, Diaz, Shamrock etc+ Dream + M1+ maybe a few Sengoku fighters
    Vs
    Belfort, Silva, Marquadt, Maia, Okami, Chonnen, Phalhares, Miller, Belcher, Cote, etc

    This is very good news for me because I see it as 1 step closer to the UFC having to work with others. Trust me, within the next 5 years the UFC will be cross-promoting.
    1) Because the rest of the MMA world is increasingly more powerful and gaining more coverage.
    2) Because guys like Lesnar, Silva GSP do not NEED the UFC as much as the UFC needs them now or in the future because of more and more options and the ability to have more freedom fight in more countries and ultimatly earn more dollars.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Peace out ‘Decision’ Dan Henderson. Did you really get more money out of Strikeforce than the UFC? Damn. Dana wouldn’t pass up on Hendo without good reason. And I hope you’re wrong MMALOGIC because I want the UFC to be as universal as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    ” I want the UFC to be as universal as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL.”
    NORTH AMERICA IS NOT UNIVERSAL.
    What difference does it make when you get to see the best fighters. MMA will ultimately follow the same path of boxing. As much as people don’t like to hear it it is just a matter of time.
    A question for you…can Brock Lesnar fight in Japan or where he wants? can he fight who he wants? when he wants? can Silva box Jones Jr? who decides on Brocks pay, Brock? the sponsors h they are allowed?. All fighters especialy those who are big names will want that freedom and if presented will take it. Henderson will be able to fight in Dream, Strikeforce or probably Sengoku if he leaves the UFC, hell if he wants he can wrestle or fight in K1. His pay may even increase and he may get a shot at a title. In the UFC he would be able to do none of this and only be able to do and fight who the UFC allows him to fight and that is only in the UFC, with UFC pay and only UFC fighters. I want to see fights in rings knees on the ground and other stuff as well as UFC octagon and rules, so no I don’t want the UFC to monopolize MMA I just want them to allow their fighters to fight elsewhere and allow fighters from elsewhere to fight with them without signing a restrictive binding contract.

  • dpk says:

    This is going to piss some people off, but what good is a title if you didn’t beat the best person in the world to get it? It is nice, but nobody really believes you are the best in the world, and it just causes confusion to the casual fan. That is what SF/Dream/WVR/Bellator belts accomplish, unless Fedor wins the SF belt, these belts are nice for the organizations but they mean absolutely nothing to determining the best fighters in the world.

    I am in the Camp that doesn’t care if UFC or another Organization has all the top fighters, but all the top fighters need to be under exclusive contract to one organization. I hate none exclusive contracts, that is how you end up with the Allister Overeem situation. We need one Org to unite all the top fighters and to this point, UFC is by far the closest to having all the top guys.

  • egad81 says:

    Everyone is so long winded takes for ever to read all the comments.

    HENDO to Strikeforce…. GOOD

    They might be able to do anther good fight on CBS for FREE…. [email protected]$K ZUFFA for raping us on weak PPVs

  • madheartmma says:

    Dana is a douche, Dan is the Man, Hendo is a legend, old school fighter, that really fights, not trying to win by points, that’s gangsta.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    dpk
    Fedor is the no.1 ranked HW so what does the UFC belt mean? Would Penn beat Aoki in a ring with Japanese MMA rules? Would GSP beat Diaz and sheilds?. What is the UFC? just 1 MMA org that, in my opinion, holds half of the worlds top talent and stops them from fighting the other half.
    If and that is a big if the world was under 1 MMA union that would be great as long as it IS NOT THE UFC and an independent governing body.
    My whole point was exactly what you said what does the UFC belt mean when guys like Silva can only face UFC fighters? None of the UFC fighters are world champs, they are UFC champs. If they all work together we will see the best fight the best (hopefully).

  • edbuzz says:

    I hope Dan gets as much money as possible. These fighters have such a short window and so few ever get to the top. It just doesn’t seem fair that the UFC could draw $87 million for UFC 100 and not one penny was split amongst the fighters that night. The UFC collected $6 million at the arena that night and their pay roll was less than $2 million. They paid all the fighters from the arena and shared not one single $1 from the ppviews with the fighters. I love the UFC, but I care about the fighters more.

  • Creature says:

    Ok all of you that say Hendo is done and will lose 2 shields and miller And mousasi.. u all have no clue what ur talking about.. he has nothing left but just beat Rich Franklin and KTFO Michael Bisping? doesnt make since.. hes gonna destroy shields.. and im positive hes got mousasi as well.. and i agree when saying i honestly think he woulda beat anderson if given the rematch.. i think dana knew that as well and didnt want his (best fighter) 2 lose so he gave his only big threat away, here soon hendo will be a champ in 2 divisions.. u will all see

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