White Says He Pushed Henderson to Strikeforce

By Sherdog.com Staff Dec 7, 2009
UFC President Dana White told Fanhouse on Monday that he pushed Dan Henderson into signing with Strikeforce.

Henderson, a multi-divisional champion in Pride who had won three straight in the UFC before finishing out his contract, signed a four-fight, 16-month deal with Strikeforce on Saturday rather than return to the UFC.

“He's happy, but the reality is that I pushed him into signing that deal,” White told FanHouse’s Mike Chiappetta. “I told people over the weekend that he'd sign within the next week.”

White said that after realizing he would not come to terms with Henderson following several meetings, he lowered his original offer to force Henderson out of a limbo.

“Here's the reality: If I wanted him, he'd be in the UFC,” White said. “It's not like, 'F---, Strikeforce beat me out.' He's been a free agent for a long time. If I wanted him, I would have signed him by now."

In response to White’s comments, Aaron Crecy, Henderson's business partner and manager, made the following statement to Sherdog.com:

“Dan has nothing but fond memories of his time with the UFC and appreciates the opportunities that were provided to him by Lorenzo, Frank and Dana. He enjoyed three of his five fights being headliners and being on the main card for his other two fights. He also appreciates being awarded 'Knockout of the Night' at the biggest show in UFC history, being a coach on 'The Ultimate Fighter 9' and was grateful that they continued to compete with Strikeforce for his services. Dan is really comfortable with his decision to move forward with Strikeforce and wishes the UFC continued success as well.”

This article was updated at 3:33 p.m. EST to include a response from Henderson’s camp.

More » Exclusive: Henderson Explains Why He Left the UFC for Strikeforce

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