While accepting Knockout of the Year honors today on ESPN.com’s MMA Live, Dan Henderson announced that he will make his Strikeforce debut against middleweight champion Jake Shields.
Although Hendo wasn’t able to confirm where the 5Round title fight would be taking place, he did mention the two will tango on Strikeforce’s next CBS primetime broadcast, which is expected to take place April 17th.
“I’m really excited to be fighting my first Strikeforce fight on CBS,” Henderson stated. “I’m looking forward to being able to reach a whole new market of fans.”
Henderson shunned the UFC for the smaller MMA organization after his devastating knockout win over Michael Bisping at UFC 100 in April, and he’s clearly motivated to prove that he has plenty left in the tank.
In fact, the ink had barely dried from the four-fight, 16-month contract he signed last month before Henderson started calling for a Strikeforce title match.
Hendo is the only man to simultaneously hold two major MMA titles, PrideFC’s 185 and 205-pound crowns, so his tweener status has him in the hunt for not only Shields’ belt, but Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi’s strap as well.
Shields took the open 185-pound title by defeating Jason Miller at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” in November, and you can believe there is nothing the organization, more importantly CBS, would like more than to have an All-American title fight pushing the numbers in their second primetime broadcast.
Helping them in their efforts will be WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, who is expected to headline the show against Fabricio Werdum.