For Dan Henderson’s next fight, he will go back up to light heavyweight for a main event bout against Renato “Babalu” Sobral, but it’s not because he struggled making weight for his last bout against Jake Shields.
In his debut fight for the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion, Henderson was hyped as one of the biggest free agent signings Strikeforce had ever made. What resulted after a strong first round was the Temecula, Calif. fighter being taken down repeatedly and outmatched by Shields for almost 25 minutes.
Just about everyone watching Henderson step onto the scales on the Friday before the fight noticed he just didn’t seem himself as he cut down to the 185-pound limit. Now Henderson has confirmed that he did indeed struggle with the weight cut, but it had more to do with prescribed medication than not shedding the last few pounds the right way.
“It was just some medication I had took for my back that kind of helped keep the weight on me, and it just has to do with the pain I guess,” Henderson explained when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio. “I was just real flat that fight, and the weight cut really zapped me.”
Now off the medication, Henderson will return to 205 pounds where he’s also had a successful career, but the decision was based on Strikeforce asking him to take a fight against Sobral and not any kind of declaration that he won’t be going back to middleweight.
“I never minded fighting at either weight, with the exception of my last fight,” Henderson said.
Coming from a wrestling background, Henderson has always been proficient in cutting weight, but even he points out that not having to cut those extra pounds right before a fight is a nice experience he doesn’t mind repeating occasionally.
“I just think it’s funner to not have to cut weight,” he said.
The door isn’t closed on Henderson going back down to 185 pounds after this fight, but with a win, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has said he would be in line for a shot at the light heavyweight title in a bout against champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.
Henderson isn’t looking that far ahead though because he still has to put in a night’s work against Sobral in a week.
“This is a good match-up and has potential to be real exciting for the fans,” Henderson commented.
The two light heavyweights will square off in the main event of Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2 on Dec. 4 in St. Louis.