Current Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson is widely tipped to be one of the next fighters to make the jump over to the UFC, but despite being a free agent since defeating Fedor Emelianenko back in July a deal has yet to be struck.
It’s somewhat reminiscent of the last time that Henderson’s signature was up for grabs in 2009 when he came to the end of his UFC deal and then spent several months negotiating for a better contract.
Unfortunately on that occasion things didn’t go according to plan with UFC president Dana White refusing to meet Henderson’s pay demands which be believed were too high, eventually forcing the veteran fighter to strike a deal with Strikeforce instead.
Two years on and boosted by a three fight winning streak, including the high profile win over Fedor, Henderson one again find himself in a similar situation and once again is looking to get paid what he thinks he’s worth.
speaking of a potential move back to the UFC Henderson told Clinch Gear Radio that, “The pay-per-view definitely could make a bigger difference, and I think either way I’m hoping to get a pay increase over my last three fights. So we’ll see.”
While Henderson has undoubtedly proven that he’s still a relevant fighter at the ripe old age of 41, the reality is that he’s not in as strong a bargaining position as he was last time out as Zuffa now own both the UFC and Strikeforce, and recent events suggest the latter may not be around for much longer once their current deal with Showtime ends in 2012.
It’s difficult to say whether this is just wishful thinking on Henderson’s part or if he really is willing to play hardball and dig in for a pay increase.
There’s some big fights for him in the UFC now at both 205lbs and 185lbs where a rematch with Anderson Silva is something he’s made it clear he’s interested in, so hopefully the two parties can reach an agreement.