Vitor Belfot Played A Big Part In Henderson Signing With Strikeforce



“Hendo” Dan Henderson,

The decision was based on a number of things. It wasn’t just a financial thing. It was the fact that I felt I wasn’t getting the fight that I wanted in the UFC. That was a big part of that — that I wasn’t and that it got yanked away from me. I think I stepped up for the UFC a number of times and had earned that right again for a title fight. The fight got pulled from me and was offered to Vitor (Belfort). I met with them after Vitor fought Rich Franklin. I told them that it does irritate me. I said, ‘Why does Vitor get to jump the line when there’s me and (Nate) Marquardt here who can both fight for a title shot and Vitor’s never fought for the UFC at 185? He jumps the line, especially since I beat him.’ They acted surprised that I’d even fought him. [Sherdog]

Henderson beat Vitor Belfort via unanimous decision back at PRIDE 32. He talks about the UFC’s “Strong-arm” tactics in the negotiations, Tito Ortiz and the banning of his clothing line Clinch Gear.

Things like that aren’t necessary and for them to do that in the middle of negotiations doesn’t make me feel respected. It’s more of a strong-arm tactic and a lot of people turn the other way when that happens. To me, it was just funny

we could no longer sponsor (other fighters), that we were banned from the UFC … why would they ban a clothing line? We already had a deal; we were paying for the right to sponsor guys just like every other sponsor was. For them to come back and say just because Dan hasn’t re-signed a deal yet, we’re banned.

After losing to Anderson Silva for the UFC title, Hendo was able to rack up three strait wins in the UFC.


  1. Danny

    December 7, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Good for Hendo and good for Strikeforce. Hendo is one of the best and most respected fighters out there. Could it be true the UFC didn't realize he had already beaten Vitor? seems like a stretch but who knows. If he fights at the S. FL Janusary show I will be pumped…. and there.

    UFC will regret him getting away. other fighters may follow him if they see there is a real alternative…. that is assuming they stay in business. at this point I hope they do because Hendo is the man.

  2. T.R.

    December 7, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I agree. I think the UFC screwed this one up.

  3. Poppynick

    December 7, 2009 at 7:51 am

    The UFC didn't screw this up, Dana did. He may be the reason or one of the reason why MMA is so popular but he is gong to also ge the person who destroys it. The sport is better off without him.

  4. Hall

    December 7, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I agree this is bullshit but I realy want to see Vitor fight Anderson, I would have rather seen Vitor work his way up and then take the belt, but he gets to jump the gun just like ragged ass Brock Lesnar . This is how Dana works ,and as you know I cant stand Dana but in a way I'm glad he did this move because as I said last year ,if Anderson Silva is going to loose, Dana is going to have to bring in Vitor Belfort to do it. My friend and I have had a bet since last year that if Anderson continued to win every fight, Dana would eventually bring in Vitor,and so far it has come to past I hope I dont loose this money, my money is on Vitor. Anderson is one of my favorite fighters but if he looses I'd rather it be to Vitor. I probaly will loose the bet but I'm still going for Vitor. I've been waiting for this hope I dont get let down.

  5. Hall

    December 7, 2009 at 10:19 am

    As for Dan Henderson, I will continue to watch him on STRIKEFORCE, Knock um out Dan

  6. Oswald Gobblecock

    December 7, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I'm not against Vitor gettin a shot at Silva over Nate or Dan for a couple reasons… he hasn't already lost to him and he may have fought at 195 but it was against the former 185 champ who Hendo couldn't beat decisively recently. I'm not saying it's right or wrong but its a fight I'd rather see and many agree. I like Hendo as a fighter but I can tell from interviews that he thinks he's more than he's really worth. He will be a loss to the UFC and a gain to SF but I didn't see him beating Silva in a rematch anyway and him going to SF also hurts his legacy like it has Fedors. Even if he beats Jake for the MW belt in SF and defends it for a while his rankings will still drop as time goes by so maybe he should have sucked it up and signed with the UFC. Who knows how good or bad the deal really was but I could see Dan asking for more than he's worth. After the Silva fights Vitor I'd rather see him finish his career at 205… hopefully against Shogun if he wins the Machida rematch.

  7. Tico

    December 7, 2009 at 11:15 am

    "Dan Henderson has reached the point in his career when promoters should be willing to pay him anything"

    Are you on drugs?

    This is a new sport, they are trying to build it to endure. Pay these fighters MLB salaries and you can kiss MMA goodbye. Build up rivalries for Championship matches and the big paydays will come. Hendo wasn't even a Belt Holder and he thinks he's worth Fedor money, not even close. This isn't Pro Boxing, but if Promoters are smart, one day MMA will be.

  8. Luke

    December 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    To answer your question. No im not!

    "Hendo wasn’t even a Belt Holder and he thinks he’s worth Fedor money"

    While this sport may be new, It hasn't always been about UFC. A few of us may remember a little thing called PRIDE Fighting Champioship.

    I believe the last man to hold the Middleweight title in PRIDE was Dan Henderson, and the last man to hold the Welterweight title in PRIDE was umm………………. Oh that's right DAN HENDERSON.

    No further questions your honor!

  9. Aldo Raine

    December 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I think its also dumb that Vitor gets a title shot. Its gonna a dumb fight. Vitor is supposed to be so quick with his hands or whatever…..Anderson Silva has time and time again shown that no one can stand with him and stand a chance. Vitor is no different. He hasn’t impressed me all that much. I think Marquardt and Hendo would easily take him out. Hopefully Silva fights at 205.

  10. Hall

    December 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Oswald Goblecock You say it hurts Dans legacy just like Fedor. Your full of shit bro cause it shouldnt mater where a fighter gose, if you are a true MMA fan you'll watch theme where ever they go. I for one will be watching Dan fight in Strikeforce. If a company dose'nt make you happy don't stay there and be miserable move on to the next ,make some money. I imagine everybody reading this has at least one time got a better job because of more money or beter benifits. Thats your opinion Gobledick about Fedor and Dans legacy being hurt,and maybe some other people,but for some it has'nt hurt there legacy. Face it some MMA fighters don't kiss there Bossmans ass why, because they are their own Bos.Thats there body and pockets not yours or anybody elses.I'm glad some of these fighters stand up to Dana.

  11. Dane

    December 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    just glad to see hes fighting somewhere before hes 40… cant wait to see him vs mousasi

  12. hosan

    December 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Dan henderson leaving really does suck for the ufc, and he'll probably be the 2nd best fighter in strikeforce. That's not too difficult however, as sf only has 3 good fighters.

  13. Hall

    December 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm


  14. Luke

    December 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    The thing is, Dan is one of the best fighters the world has ever seen. We all now how good he is, the problem is ‘casual fans’ are not too familiar with Hendo for some reason.
    Only the fighters who sell the most pay per views make the most money, and that seems resonable for a company. But the thing is with MMA, not all the fighters selling PPV’s and tickets are necessarily the best fighters.

    Dan Henderson has reached the point in his career when promoters should be willing to pay him anything. He has earned his legendary status and should be compensated accordingly. But from what i understand the UFC did not consider Hendo a major draw.

    I am a hardcore Hendo fan. I watched him for years in PRIDE, I got a ticket to UFC 75 mainly to watch Dan fight Rampage for the title, surely there is more people who respect Hendo as much as me. I just find it hard to understand why he isn’t considered a big name to so called ‘casual fans’ and apparently to the UFC execs.

  15. dudeguy

    December 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    yea i agree this does suck but he will be back. i seriously doubt strikeforce is gonna be around that long with the kinda money there throwing around. give it time

  16. Mac

    December 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I think Tico meant that he's not a current Belt Holder, nor is Tito, or Chuck, or Coleman, or Hughes, or Serra, or Griffin, etc.

    Hendo will return to the UFC eventually.

    Hall you need to calm down, your gonna give yourself a stroke.

  17. Luke

    December 8, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I'm sure i jst read the words Pro Boxing, Promoters, and smart in the same sentence???? (for clarification on how wrong you are, see Bob Arum, Frank Warren).

    Its not a case of paying everybody too much, just paying the people that helped the growing success of Mixed Martial Arts. Dan Henderson has been a top fighter for about 11 years, One of the few wrestlers in MMA at the time who didn't rely on laying and praying.

    Everybody talks about how much of a draw Fedor is, but yet statistics show that fighters who are not as successful in the ring as Fedor may draw a bigger audience (Tito Ortiz for example).

    I believe Dan Henderson does deserve 'Fedor Money', He fought all the best in the world (just like Fedor) and held titles in the toughest promotion in the world at that time (just like Fedor).

  18. tom

    December 8, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Hendo should have got the tittle shoot and they should have let vitor vs Nate and the winner gets the winner from Dan vs Silver but it wont happend now

  19. tom

    December 8, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I think Dan should make more money then Fador..Dan is the Biggest house hold name that strike forces has now..He was pride Light neavy and Middle weight champ, only person to hold 2 different belts in pride..UFC he fought both Champions and those were is only lose in the ufc was to jaxckson and Anderson,No shame…

    Dan at strike forces will Be a champ in 2 different promtions fuck yeah

  20. roy

    December 8, 2009 at 2:44 am

    yeah they should cut dan and sign guys like kimbo and baroni, and make chuck and tito the next tuf coaches. lol i am losing some respect for there decesions lately what happened to dana talking shit on side shows and saying he has the best fighters in the world? well he just let one of the best mw and lhw's go.

  21. Luke

    December 8, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I understand that UFC are trying to make money, and i wouldn't really say they have took the 'freak show' route. But when Dana says he "could get any fighter (other than Fedor Emelianenko)" if he wanted them.

    But i didn't think it was about what fighters Dana White wants. He always said he wants the best to fight the best, the fights the fans want to see. Well there is plenty other guys i would like to see fight in the UFC other than Fedor. Dan Henderson, Gegard Mousasi, Shinya Aoki, Alistair Overeem, Joachim Hansen, Marius Zaromskis.

    There are plenty more great fighters out there. If the UFC had the money and the power to sign every great fighter, then we could have a great fight every week.

    What gets me is, If Hendo was asking for too much money, then Dana claiming he could have paid him if he wanted, Then where is the contract money going?

    I think for the money that they were not willing to throw at Hendo and Fedor (while still claiming they could if "they wanted), They could have signed quite a few fighters, Other than Lil Nog i cant think of any established highly ranked fighters they have aquired recently.

  22. t-los

    December 8, 2009 at 3:36 am

    who cares what they do with vitor.. thats not hendos job to worry about what other fighters do and who they fight.. his job is to go out there and fight.. he's getting paid good as seen in the last payouts.. its not like the ufc was sweeping him under the rug, he was always either the co main event or main event.. what else could you ask for? there are so many fighters that wish they were where hendo was in the ufc.. he would have gotten a title shot sooner then later.. i just figured he went to strikeforce to fight fedor.. it kinda bums me out that it was also because of what he thought of vitor.. im sure they would have fought alot sooner (hendo and vitor) in the ufc, and through that dan could have proved that the ufc made the mistake on giving vitor the title shot..

  23. roy

    December 8, 2009 at 4:08 am

    i here dana banned his clothing line near the end of talks to try to strong arm dan but i think it just pissed dan off and thats why he left.

  24. Jay

    December 8, 2009 at 4:40 am

    talk is cheap. its hard running this sport.

  25. Hall

    December 8, 2009 at 5:24 am

    #14 I dont know who you are but who in the hell uses the word douche You must be from up north By the way I never said I hate UFC talent. I just dont care that much for Dana. Thats my opinion,just like you have yours. Vitor should get his chance just like Brock got his,I disagree wid the way Dana dose things but if he's going to let one fighter do something let the other do the same way. UFC is not about working your way up its about how much money can be made.

  26. Hall is dumb

    December 8, 2009 at 5:43 am

    We know you dont like Dana you say so on every page moron. It could be a page on weigh in results and you can link the weighins to how Dana White is ruining MMA. Your dumb man. Each comment I read of yours I get dumber. Please stop making comments for the sake of this site and the people on it.

  27. Danny

    December 8, 2009 at 6:07 am

    MMA is (and I am happy for it) the hot thing right now. But to think that its popularity won't plateau even on a worldwide basis at some point is naive. The casual affliction t-shirt wearing diesel jean crowd will move on to the next hipster thing. Those of us that grew up wrestling and (or) in martial arts are the fans which are in this for the long run. I would venture to say we are the ones that are dissapointed in how dana handled this. In my opinion Hendo 100% pulls ppv dollars. maybe not from those who order 1 fight to throw a party for their hipster freinds but someone like me who probably orders 8-10 fights a year and watches them with 1 or 2 buddies. In fact usually Hendo WAS the reason we ordered the fights. to think that this doesn't damage their brand is shortsided. It damaged it to me and I dare say others like me.

    Remember when dana cut Fitch for a few days because of the video game rights…. wish Strikeforce would have been in a position to sign him back then. point is some of these fighters (and fans) have longer memories than dana would like. I used to be 100% behind his decisions but it seems like some of them really are coming off like he is a bit spoiled.

  28. T.R.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I agree with danny.

    also, dana has stated that his job is to put on the best fights in the world. If so, then WHY in the HELL would he sign frank trigg and old renzo gracie and not Hendo? This is just plain stupid.

    I will order showtime now because I love watching hendo fight. I hate not seeing hendo in the ufc.

    I love the ufc, but this is a fact in the buisness world: "whatever gets you to a certain level will usually keep you from going to the next level." THe reason why is just like what danny said, because momentum dies. But it doesn't have to. You can keep momentum by makng things new. Dana is gonna have to learn that he may have to treat the best fighters in the world in a new way.

    O but wait. Now the ufc has roy nelson. So everything is solved. He will draw in LARGE fat ass numbers for the Ufc. Bull shit.!!!!

  29. roy

    December 8, 2009 at 7:51 am

    don't forget him signing baroni and now kimbo, i will bet money with the high numbers spike got you will now see kimbo on ppv's only. wait till you see the line up for 109 its a joke coleman vs randy as the main event?

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