Two years after leaving the UFC after failing to agree terms on a new contract, Dan Henderson may now be close to a return to the Octagon.
Currently the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, Henderson further enhanced his status at the weekend when he TKO’d Fedor Emelianenko in an exciting main event showdown in Chicago.
That fight was the last on his current contract and according to White, despite the fact that the two men were not on the best of terms back in 2009, the door is now open for him to be welcomed back into the fold.
“We’ll see what happens,” White told the media at today’s UFC 133 pre-fight press conference. “‘Hendo’ and I have had some history in dealings. We’ll see if we can figure something out and get him back in the UFC.”
Henderson also appeared receptive to a return backstage after his win at the weekend, stating that he would be interested in the chance to unify the Strikeforce and UFC light-heavyweight titles.
So it all seems as if it’s going to come down to whether the two parties can agree terms. Two years ago ‘Hendo’s’ pay demands were rejected by White, insisting that he did not have the drawing power to deserve a bumper pay deal.
With Henderson’s career currently on a high he may still harbor similar feelings over his worth, but the difference this time around is that Zuffa now own Strikeforce as well so he won’t be able to play the two off of each other.
So he’ll either have to play ball or fight himself a new promotion to call home – something that’s he’s indicated he’s got no interest in doing at the age of 40.
Henderson would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the UFC’s 205lb mix, though to be fair it’s a division that’s well stocked for talent as it is and he wouldn’t neccessarily walk straight into a title shot. ‘Hendo’s’ services could also be a welcome boost to the 185lb division, though he himself has indicated that he’s not interested in such a move.
If the deal does take place it’ll be another nail in the coffin of the Strikeforce coffin who are already reeling from the loss of their welterweight champion Nick Diaz, heavyweight title holder Alistair Overeem, former woman’s champion Marloes Coenen and most recently heavyweight superstar Fedor Emelianenko, all within a matter of weeks.