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Now a Free Agent, Dan Henderson Wants Back in the UFC to Fight the Winner of Rampage-Jones

(“What? I’m bulking. Don’t judge me. Most heavyweights have cans like this.”)

Unemployment can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. It can lead to depression, divorce and drug and/or alcohol dependancy. Ask most people who have lost their jobs at some point in their adult lives and they’ll tell you that it’s something they hope to never experience again.

Dan Henderson isn’t like most people.

For starters, most people don’t jump up two weight classes four weeks prior to their 41st birthday to knock out a fighter who was and still is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist who ever lived. Most people don’t pull off a feat like that four months after upsetting a tough young champion to take the Strikeforce light heavyweight belt. Most people don’t win every fight since October 2006, save a trio of title bouts. And most people don’t become concurrent champions in one organization in two weight classes.

It’s no surprise then that Henderson, whose stock has arguably never been higher, finds himself without a contract and it’s equally not surprising that he isn’t worried where he’ll next ply his trade.

“I’m the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, I’ve beaten Fedor, and I’m unemployed, so we’ll have to see what the talks are now after I’ve had a few weeks off,” Hendo told the Telegraph UK Monday night. “It’s not a bad position to be in though.”

Confident that he’ll be able to strike a deal in the coming weeks, what Henderson says he really wants is a unification bout against the winner of the upcoming UFC 135 light heavyweight championship bout between 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones and challenger Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, much like former Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz has been granted against his UFC counterpart Georges St-Pierre in December.

The bout would be an intriguing one, regardless of whom he faces.

On one hand, he would have a chance to avenge his first UFC loss to Jackson in what could have been the former PRIDE champ’s first unification bout in his Octagon return at UFC 75.

On the other, you’d have a battle between new school and old school, unorthodox and traditional champions. Although most wouldn’t give Henderson much of a chance against Jones, remember that the majority were picking against him versus Fedor and many of those likely had Tim Sylvia as a lock against Randy Couture.

Henderson, who turns 41 August 24 says that he’s just interested in good fights and the UFC is the only place left for him to find them.

“I think that could be interesting going forward, a unification fight with the winner of that contest would be a good match,” he explained.

It looks like Dan’s about to get an obscene amount of money from uncle Dana.

Cagepotato Comments

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danomite- August 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm
I loved his fight with Rampage and it was really close, but I want to see what happens when one of his punches land on Jon Jones face
j-k-martin- August 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm
After his last win he deserves the shot. Saying he has paid his dues is an understatement.
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skeletor- August 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm
I believe what he got was the money he was looking for, free exposure for his clothing line, and an organization shitty enough to give him title shots in two weight classes and the chance to fight the HW GOAT. Looks like things are coming up roses for ol' Hendo.

I don't think any of that will matter to old DW though, so he is probably fucked in these new negotiation unless elite xc is looking to let him bankrupt there new org.
dranokills- August 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm
Hey Hendo, remember when you tried to negotiate with Dana before and thought you were worth a lot more than you really are worth?
Remember what happened?
Uhhh yeah, you got let go.
Hey bad news buddy you STILL aren't worth the money,and beating a hasbeen like Fedor doesn't up your stock. Your little play belt doesn't help either. Try try again hendo boy.
AndyInflammatory- August 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm
Dana has been pretty vocal that he didn't consider Fedor to be that good. Beating the guy isn't worth shit as far as bargaining power goes.
RwilsonR- August 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Immediate title shot? Wait a minute... is this the same Hormoneless Hendo that lost to Shields? Yeah, I think maybe he shoud get a few wins in the UFC in the division in which he would like to fight before he is given any title shot.
edhedicus- August 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm
Wasn't Hendo leaving before less about the money and more about him promoting his clothing line? Uncle Dana charges outrageous prices for being a sponsor. I just hope this doesn't get screwed up!
skeletor- August 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm
@Arm Farmer
I think you are thinking of a sit out switch. He did scoot his hips out and come out the back door. It was the quickest way to describe it. I didn't want to call it a sweep or anything but either way it was a slick "reversal".
BarackODrama907- August 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm
I am with El Guapo, let Hendo rematch Silva. THEN if Rashad can get past Tito, he gets his fight the winner of Rampage/Bones (only so he will quit his bitchin) if he can't get past Tito then Let Hendo get winner of Rampage/Bones.... IF Hendo can get past Silva which I think he can
Shifty-Eyed Dog- August 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Why would Zuffa pay him more now? If anything, they should lowball him. If he wants to be in the UFC so bad, he'll have to take a pay cut. Or he can stay in SF and be a big fish in a tiny pond. Fuck Hendo. How about you, Fedor, and Overeem start a traveling roadshow.
macreadysshack- August 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Thanks for straightening me out on that Arm and J-dog. Missed that somehow.
ArmFarmer- August 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Maybe it was a switch, the end movement is the same now that I think about it. Usually a switch involves weaving your arm between the outside of their arm and their inner thigh for leverage, then scooting behind them like that, but maybe that's just a set up for it.
J-Dog- August 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm
@macreadysshack: Fedor v. Henderson wasn't at 205. It was at heavyweight. Fedor weighed in at 223 and Hendo at 207.
Art Gibs- August 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm
I'm not convinced Zuffa will pay out the nose for Hendo. There may still be some bad blood there, and even though Zuffa didn't want to pay what Hendo asked for last time, I think he's going to demand even more now. We'll see.
ArmFarmer- August 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm
Fedor vs Henderson was at heavyweight.
Nitpicking but, that wasn't a switch. Switch is a different technique. I don't think there is really a name for what he did, usually just referred to as scrambling or scooting out the back door or something. I could be wrong.
macreadysshack- August 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm
I know I'm splitting hairs here but did I miss something? You said "For starters, most people don’t jump up two weight classes four weeks prior to their 41st birthday to knock out a fighter who was and still is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist who ever lived."

Hendo jumped two weight classes? I thought it was contested at 205 . . . That would just be one class unless it wasn't at 205 OR Hendo has been fighting at Welterweight and I've slept through it.
FighterX- August 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm
F**K Rashad...he is not a fighter people will say "have to watch him fight"....don't understand why rashad would get a title shot b-4 Machida...Machida would destroy him again....Love to see Hendo and Kennedy come over to the UFC....Rampage has this fight....War Tito...!!
Cro mag- August 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm
Hendo will be the man to dethrone anderson silva. Mark my words.
Shifty-Eyed Dog- August 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm
Dan should not even come back to the UFC, and if he does he should have to rack up a couple wins before getting a title shot.

Rashad should get his shot he was supposed to get for a long time now. Don't punish him for Jones' BS move. If Rashad wins, he's champion and he can stop talking about getting fucked over. If he loses, he had his shot and he can stop talking abot being fucked over. It's win-win.
El Guapo- August 2, 2011 at 11:48 am
BUT, more than anything, I'd rather see Dan get a rematch vs Spider. That would be the shit! Not sure why, but I don't think Silva would allow it. Just a feeling I have..
El Guapo- August 2, 2011 at 11:45 am
I'd rather see Hendo fight the Bones-Rampage winner than any light heavy on the UFC's roster. Think about it. Rua got raped by Bones, Machida and Shad are in Dana's doghouse, Randy's retired. IF Tito can somehow beat Sugar, that would make for a good storyline and all, but he'd most likely get murdered by Bones or Rampage. WAR HENDO!
Pen Fifteen- August 2, 2011 at 11:28 am
@Crap Factory
Good point, because people are clamoring to see this fight immediately, given that the current champ at 205 has already cleaned out the division...oh wait, that's the opposite of what is actually happening.
Crap Factory- August 2, 2011 at 11:12 am
DW must be pissed right now. Hendo is holding all the cards.
intercept440- August 2, 2011 at 10:33 am
Hey rashad, Bend over and assume the position, your about to get fucked again. (unless tito pulls a win out of his ass this weekend) your about to be passed over one more time. ahahahahahahahahahh