The UFC got one step closer to housing all of Mixed Martial Arts’ elite competitors when it re-signed Dan Henderson after the 41-year old spent a little more than a year fighting for Strikeforce where he became the promotion’s light heavyweight champion and stopped the once-unbeatable Fedor Emelianenko with strikes in the opening round of their bout this past July.
Henderson’s first test in his third UFC stint will come November 19 at UFC 139 against former title-holder Mauricio Rua. At a recent press conference promoting the event the 28-8 Californian spoke some about his decision to return to the UFC.
“The best match-ups for me are here in the UFC,” Henderson explained. “Strikeforce has a number of guys that are tough and I felt like I fought some of the tougher guys over there. My last one with Fedor, beyond that I wasn’t excited about anybody coming up that I might be fighting other than the guys that were gonna be in the UFC. So, it was good timing, I guess, that (Dana White) came in and swooped up Strikeforce. I’m excited.”
“I guess it’s a little ironic that anytime I win a title somewhere, Dana has to buy the company to get me back,” he joked while alluding to Zuffa’s purchase of PRIDE a number of years ago.
“Hendo” also stated he would drop to 185-pounds again if asked but only for a rematch with Anderson Silva who submitted him in 2008 at UFC 82. Other than that his focus will be on “Shogun” Rua and, with a win, a shot at unifying the Strikeforce/UFC titles.
Henderson has beaten a “who’s who” of MMA in his fourteen-year career including Emelianenko, Renato Sobral, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak with the trio of victories all coming via knockout/TKO.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC