While much of the post UFC Fight Night 32 talks seems to be about Vitor Belfort, and for understandable reasons, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the legendary Dan Henderson. The 43 year-old’s KO loss to Belfort was not only his third straight defeat, but it was the last on his current UFC contract.
Of course, earlier in the week Henderson relayed on a couple of occasions that he would continue fighting, win or lose Saturday night, and following the loss the rugged fighter gave no indication that he’s changed his mind. Henderson also said, prior to the event, that he believed the UFC would offer him a contract even if he lost, but noted “it might not be as great as a deal as I have now.”
So, will “Hendo” be back in the UFC? Speaking after the event UFC President Dana White offered this comment (via MMA Fighting.com)
“Yeah, obviously we’ll get together, we’ll talk to him,” White told Fox Sports 1. “He’s on a three-fight losing streak right now. His age and everything else, I’ve got to talk to him and see. I knew Dan would want to fight again; he’s a fighter, that’s what he does. So, we’ll talk.”
Now, considering Saturday marked the first time Henderson has been stopped with strikes, and that his previous defeats were via split decision to former champs in Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida, the decorated wrestler could have some big performances left yet. As far as a new UFC contract, however, it could depend on what the promotion is willing to offer Henderson. Since the former PRIDE champ won’t be competing for a title any time soon, chances are a big pay cut could be coming as Henderson alluded to.
That said, it’s hard to imagine organizations like Bellator or WSOF making Henderson the kind of offer that would draw him away from the UFC at this stage of his career.
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