Considering who Dan Henderson has been calling-out as potential future opponents, it’s apparent the MMA veteran had a clear gameplan in place when he opted to shun the UFC for the smaller Strikeforce organization. At the tender age of the 39, it’s definitely go-time for Hendo.
The ink has barely dried from the four-fight, 16-month contract he signed earlier month, but Henderson has his sights set on Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi, middleweight title holder Jake Shields and even soon-to-be Strikeforce heavyweight champion Fedor Emeliananko.
Those are some lofty goals, even for the only man to simultaneously hold two major MMA titles, PrideFC’s 185 and 205-pound crowns. However, Hendo didn’t dog the UFC for nothin’, so expect for him to get a shot at a couple of those foes, and it looks like Shields gets first dibs.
“We’ll see what happens, but that’s definitely a good possibility for my first fight,” Henderson said at the “Strikeforce: Evolution” event on Saturday. “We’ll have to talk to Scott [Coker, Strikeforce CEO] here and hopefully Jake doesn’t run back down to 170.”
The talented Shields has fought in the welterweight division in the past.
Henderson said that he would like to make his Strikeforce debut at middleweight, making Shields a perfect opponent for the wrestler. At the post-fight presser, Coker stated the two are in serious consideration to co-headline their second CBS broadcast in April.
Shields took the open 185-pound title by defeating Jason Miller at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” last month, and there is nothing the organization, more importantly CBS, would like more than to have an All-American 5Round title fight to push their second primetime broadcast.
Although Shields is tentatively slated to stand opposite Hendo in April, Coker stated that if Henderson keeps winning, he might get his wish and have everyone on his dance card checked off by the time his Strikeforce contract expires.
“He wants to fight the world’s best,” Coker said. “And Fedor’s here, Gegard Mousasi is here and Jake Shields is here, and those are three big fights for him.”