The UFC got one step closer to housing all of Mixed Martial Artsâ€™ 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 promotionâ€™s light heavyweight champion and stopped the once-unbeatable Fedor Emelianenko with strikes in the opening round of their bout this past July.
Hendersonâ€™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.
â€œThe best match-ups for me are here in the UFC,â€ Henderson explained. â€œStrikeforce 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.”
â€œI 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 Zuffaâ€™s purchase of PRIDE a number of years ago.
â€œHendoâ€ 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 â€œwhoâ€™s whoâ€ 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