White on Hendo: ‘We’ll talk’

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dan Henderson started fighting in 1997, in Brazil. His third fight was in the UFC, earning decisions over Carlos Newton and Alan Goes in one night. He fought the best in the world ever since. But Henderson is on a three-fight losing streak, dropping split decisions to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans, followed by a crushing first round KO at the hands and feet of Vitor Belfort Saturday night.

At 43, Henderson holds one of the great records in the sport’s history, across 17 years, and is at an appropriate point to retire, if he wants to. But he doesn’t want to. Hendo said recently he wants three or four more fights, over the next two years, and in the UFC.

The UFC generally signs notable fighters to a new contract before the expiration of the old one. However, Henderson, who made a flat $250,000 per fight, waited until after the contract expired to negotiate a new one. A win over the surging Vitor Belfort would have put Henderson in a quite strong negotiating position. The loss puts him in a quite weak negotiating position. So weak, there is some doubt he will even be offered a contract at all.

UFC president Dana White addressed the question Saturday night after the end of UFC Fight Night 32 in Goiania, Brazil.

“Yeah, obviously we’ll get together, we’ll talk to him,” said White. “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.”

White made similar remarks at the post-fight press conference, saying he will talk with Henderson in a few weeks to figure it out. Henderson, who suffered a KO for the first time in his career, went to the hospital after the fight.

What do you think UG? WIll the UFC re-sign Dan Henderson?