The announcement on Saturday that Zuffa, parent company of the UFC, had purchased Strikeforce sent shockwaves throughout the MMA industry. Perhaps no more intently than with the fighters currently under contract to Strikeforce, who found out that they now have a new boss.
Dan Henderson, who just won the Strikeforce light heavyweight title last Saturday night, was admittedly thrown back when he heard the news that his old bosses at the UFC were taking over the company he currently fights for.
“It’s a little shocking. I had no idea,” Henderson told MMAWeekly.com on Saturday. “I know there were rumors six months ago, but I was pretty shocked. I don’t know what to feel about it. I don’t necessarily think, it might not be the best thing for the sport. But then again, you’re going to start being able to see all these match-ups that everyone wants to see. Who knows?”
Henderson left the UFC after fighting for the promotion for a total of five fights. Following his knockout of Michael Bisping in 2009, Henderson entered free agency and opted to sign with Strikeforce.
Following a hiccup in his first fight with the San Jose, Calif. based promotion, Henderson bounced back with two wins in a row, knocking out Renato “Babalu” Sobral before finishing Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante to win the Strikeforce light heavyweight belt.
Henderson sounded optimistic about his future following his last win, but he currently sits with only one fight left on his current Strikeforce deal.
“I had no plans of leaving, but I don’t know what this is going to do those plans, but I have one fight left on my deal and we’ll see what happens,” Henderson stated.
UFC president Dana White stressed during Saturday’s announcement that Strikeforce would continue running “business as usual” and that CEO Scott Coker would remain in charge, able to make decisions about fighter contracts.
Regardless of any past dealings, Henderson is open to working with Zuffa again if they want to keep him around.
“Of course,” Henderson answered when prompted about fighting for White and the UFC again. “I’ve never said anything bad about them. I always appreciated everything they’ve done for me and for the sport. It’s just I was paid more money to go elsewhere, and that’s what I did. Dana’s the type that needs to talk a little smack if he doesn’t get his way, but I’ve got no hard feelings about anything.”
Simply put though, Dan Henderson isn’t done fighting regardless of the single fight left on his current deal. When asked if he planned on fighting beyond one more fight, no matter what company it’s for, Henderson said “right.”
The current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is presently enjoying some down time following his win last weekend.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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