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Dan Henderson signs with Strikeforce


Get ready, Gegard.

Former dual Pride FC middleweight and welterweight champion, Dan Henderson, will debut for the San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion in 2010 after he could not come to agreeable terms on a contract extension with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). confirmed the signing earlier today.

From Henderson via Strikeforce press release:

"I'm very happy to be a part of Strikeforce and their partnership with CBS and Showtime. Strikeforce and its growing roster of world class talent will offer me many exciting fights and has the ability to bring many new fans from all around the world to mixed martial arts. I am grateful to Scott Coker for the opportunity to help make this happen and for treating me with the utmost respect throughout our negotiations. I’d also like to thank Dana (White) and the UFC for the opportunities they provided me and I wish them ongoing success. I’ll continue to watch their events and I hope they’ll tune in to my fights in Strikeforce. After all, I’m a true fan of our fantastic sport and would love only to see MMA continue to grow."

Henderson (25-7) signed a four-fight, 16-month contract and may debut opposite Jake Shields on a tentatively scheduled CBS card in April 2010, according to

After knocking out Michael Bisping on the main card of UFC 100 back in July, the Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Coach mentioned numerous times that his goal was to remain a UFC fighter.

However, the former number one middleweight contender seemed adamant that in addition to more money, he also wanted another opportunity to challenge reigning division champion, Anderson Silva.

The latter didn't seem like a potential deal breaker after White all but assured Henderson he would rematch Silva after putting Bisping down for "The Count" this past summer.

However, that was before Silva's manager, Ed Soares, made the case that Henderson should take on Nate Marquardt first to determine a clear-cut contender. In addition, Vitor Belfort -- who lost to Hendo at PRIDE 32 back in Oct. 2006 -- was not yet on the roster.

Now with Belfort in the fold and slated to face "The Spider" after he returns from elbow surgery, Hendo's status as a title contender was affected and possibly a significant blow to his bargaining power at the negotiating table.

Negotiations with Strikeforce started as early as October, when "Hollywood" had a "conversation" with CEO Scott Coker. Things began picking up speed when Dana White called his negotiations with Henderson "finished" shortly after that.

What's done is done.

Dan Henderson is now on the Strikeforce roster. Who do you want to see him fight first?

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