Dan Henderson is not a heavyweight, but he thinks a matchup against one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time would be his best career move at this point.
Henderson is expected to fight Fedor Emelianenko on a July 30 Strikeforce card in Chicago, according to ESPN.com. In his most recent bout, Henderson won the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship by stopping Rafael āFeijaoā Cavalcante in March. From Hendersonās vantage, he doesnāt have an immediate challenger for the belt he now wears.
Gegard Mousasi drew with Keith Jardine in April in a fight that could have created a contender. Mike Kyle has been injured and unable to bounce back from a heavyweight loss to Antonio Silva. In Hendersonās view, Fedor is the best option.
āI think that fight, as far as in Strikeforce, itās the one that makes the most sense right now,ā Henderson said during an April 27 āSavage Dog Showā interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. āItās a big fight. All the fans want to see it.ā
The matchup will be the last bout on Hendersonās current deal with Strikeforce. He signed with the promotion after leaving the Zuffa-owned UFC, and of course recently Zuffa purchased Strikeforce as well.
āI was in the dark, as a lot of other people were too,ā Henderson said of the sale. āI was probably just waking up and had a few texts already from people that had heard the news in the morning. My first thought was to call bulls--t on it, but it was what it was. Like I said, I didnāt know how to react and what that was going to do for me and I still donāt really until I start negotiating a new contract.ā
Henderson acknowledged that after hearing about the sale he contacted UFC President Dana White.
āI might have just texted him saying, āCouldnāt leave me alone? Had to go and buy Strikeforce too?ā Something like that,ā Henderson said. āIāve never been on bad terms with him. It was all about business, and I had a better offer. Thatās what it came down to. Iāve always appreciated what theyāve done for me and the sport. I do have mixed feelings about them buying Strikeforce. It could be a good thing for me, but not so sure how good it is for the sport.ā
Henderson has traded shots with White in the past, but the fighter emphasized it was in good fun. Other moves, like the UFC not exactly welcoming Hendersonās Clinch Gear clothing company as a sponsor after heād left, were just business in Hendersonās opinion.
āI know that Danaās Dana, and heās going to sell fights no matter how he does it and talk whatever s--t heās going to talk when things donāt go his way,ā Henderson said. āI never took anything personally and Iāve never said anything bad about them other than maybe heās a little bit chubby and it looks like he got a boob job recently.ā