Dan Henderson: MMA’s Quietest Free Agent

Written by Tom Ngo
September 15th, 2009

In case most of you didn’t know, MMA veteran Dan Henderson became a free agent the very second he was finished slapping Michael Bisping silly at UFC 100. With insufficient offers from the UFC coming his way, Hendo will continue to bide his time until he’s given what he believes is fair market value.

“I’m holding firm for what I think I deserve,” Henderson told FanHouse. “I think I’ve earned that. I want to stay in the UFC.”

Not many have accomplished what the 39-year-old has throughout his illustrious career. Hendo was the first to simultaneously hold major titles in two different weight classes when he captured the PrideFC 185-lb and middleweight (205-pounds was considered the middleweight division in Japan) crown  in early 2007.

Henderson holds quite a bit of bargaining power as he hits the negotiating tables with UFC brass. He’s currently riding a three-fight winning streak, including his most recent, and impressive, knockout of Bisping.

Although a contract hasn’t been finalized, Henderson isn’t too worried about closing with the world’s biggest organization. He knows that contract talks are like a chess match, and it’s only a matter of time.  In fact, he’s already training as if he’s getting a mulligan against champion Anderson Silva.

“I didn’t feel like I fought well when we fought before,” Henderson said. “I didn’t do everything I could have done in the 1stRound. My body was feeling drained and worn out.”

Silva is currently on vacation and recovering from a few minor injuries he’s accumulated over the past year. With no timetable for the 185-pound king’s return, Henderson said that he would prefer to see action sooner rather than later.

“It all depends on Anderson Silva,” said Henderson. “If he’s not going to fight until April, I don’t want to wait that long. But I’ll do what I have to do to fight him.”

The UFC was hoping to have had Henderson re-signed by now as they were planning on he and fellow top contender Nate Marquardt headlining their UFC 105 card in November. However, the organization was forced to move forward with a light heavyweight match-up between Randy Couture and Brandon Vera as the card’s featured fight since Henderson’s free agent status remains unchanged.

Whenever, wherever, Henderson will be ready. Since his win in July, it’s been business as usual for Henderson and his Team Quest mates out in Temecula, California.

So Mr. Dana White, Dan will be in the gym if you need to get a hold of him.

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