by Chad Edward – Special to MMAWeekly.com
“I would love to fight Chuck Liddell,” Pride Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson recently told me recently. “That is the fight that would pay me the most and do the most for my career.”
Hendo’s remarks bite back at UFC President Dana White’s claim at the UFC 70 post-fight press conference that, “Dan Henderson doesn’t want to fight Chuck Liddell.” White also remarked that Henderson was intended by Pride management to lose his middleweight championship challenge versus Wanderlei Silva in February.
Henderson knocked Silva flat in the third round with a left hook. After the fight, Henderson told me, “Pride wasn’t sure who they were going to have fight Silva. That is when I spoke with Jerry [Millen] (a former Pride vice-president) about pushing for me to fight him.”
A Liddell-Silva showdown had wetted MMA appetites for years and was announced by White for November 2006 at UFC 61 on July 8, 2006. However, no contract had been signed at the time of the announcement and the deal inexplicably fell through. Since then, Silva has ended his last two scraps lights-out on the canvas versus Mirko Filipovic and Dan Henderson.
Since defeating Silva for the Pride Middleweight Championship, Henderson has been the heir to the Pride versus UFC 205-pound controversy.
Neither Dana White nor Chuck Liddell’s agent, Jervis Cole, have responded to requests for comment.