Photo via Strikeforce.com
Move over 'Naytch, there's a new forty-something light heavyweight tearing up the mixed martial arts (MMA) landscape and his name is Dan Henderson.
"Hendo," who turns 41 later this month, laid waste to the Strikeforce light heavyweight division before packing on a few pounds and abrogating Fedor Emelianenko at last Saturday night's (July 30) Showtime event in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
In fact, the former PRIDE champion is 6-1 over the past three years, his only blemish caused by a middleweight mugging from Jake Shields in early 2010 -- one that saw Henderson struggle with his 185-pound weight cut.
Not that it matters.
A strap he may never defend now that his contract is up.
But that doesn't mean there's no place for him to call home. A return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) could be the logical place to finish his career -- and Henderson already has his eyes on a potential title unification bout against the winner of Jon Jones vs. "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 135 on Sept. 24.
"I think that could be interesting going forward, a unification fight with the winner of that contest would be a good match," Henderson told The Telegraph. "I’m not really looking to go back to middleweight. I’m happy at light-heavyweight. It’s where I feel most comfortable ... I’m the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, I’ve beaten Fedor, and I’m unemployed, so we’ll have to see what the talks are now after I’ve had a few weeks off. It’s not a bad position to be in though."
Henderson fought Jackson in his UFC return back on Sept. 8, 2007, losing a five round slugfest against "Rampage" by way of unanimous decision. While complaints from MMA fans would be few and far between if "Hollywood" was granted an immediate title shot, it's hard to imagine him leapfrogging Rashad Evans should "Suga" win his rematch against Tito Ortiz on Aug. 6.
How about it Maniacs, any of those potential match-ups doing anything for you? And will the UFC be able to come to terms with Henderson financially for another run at the gold -- something they were unable to do when they let him walk back in late 2009?