After months of speculation Dan Henderson has signed for Strikeforce in what is believed to be a multi-fight deal, Ariel Helwani at mma.fanhouse revealed today.
Henderson’s contract with the UFC ended in the summer after his knockout victory of Michael Bisping at UFC 100, and after the promotion failed to agree to his increased pay demands, Strikeforce have now seized the opportunity to add more star power to their growing roster.
Speaking to sherdog.com, Henderson’s manager Aaron Crecy said of the deal, “Dan chose to sign with Strikeforce after careful consideration. He approached the process with an open mind, and over the course of the past couple months became increasingly impressed with the Strikeforce organization. It was not a decision that Dan took lightly.”
There is no confirmation on when Henderson who or when he will fight next, but with Henderson able to fight at both 185lbs and 205lbs, there will be a number of options available to him during his 4 fight deal which willunfold over the next 16 months.
One of the most likely options would appear to be a title shot against current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi, and that would be a highly significant and credible bout for the promotion.
Henderson could however just as easily look to a title opportunity against current middleweight champion Jake Shields for his first fight, and further down the road it may also not be out of the question for him to move up to the heavyweight division to face Fedor Emelianenko.“
Signing the former Pride champion, who fought for both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles as well as starred as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter reality series during his time in the UFC, further highlights Strikeforce’s rise in 2009.
After having also secured the services of Fedor in the past year from under the noses of the UFC, it also serves as another reminder that the UFC is no longer the only show in town for the sports top talents.
“Dan likes to be a maverick, and I think part of the attraction to Strikeforce was to be a part of something that broadens the growth of the sport within the U.S. and globally,” Crecy explained in an email to sherdog.com.
“The fact that Strikeforce offers a network television platform in CBS as well as a premium cable partner in Showtime was particularly appealing to him. It delivers an incredible opportunity for Dan to perform live before an audience of millions of present and future MMA fans. Also, (Strikeforce CEO) Scott Coker treated Dan with a great deal of respect and integrity throughout the negotiations, and that certainly affected his decision. Dan is very excited to be a part of the Strikeforce family.”