Dan Henderson

We all know Dan Henderson has been negotiating a new contract with the UFC, and while we kept hearing they were far apart on money, we just kind of assumed they would eventually come to terms. Not so says Kevin Iole, Hendo might be headed to Strikeforce.

Dan Henderson’s career with the Ultimate Fighting Championship has ground to a close in a contract stalemate, and the former two-division PRIDE champion appears on the verge of signing a deal with the rival Strikeforce promotion.

Henderson could not be reached for comment Friday, but White confirmed he was unable to come to terms with Henderson. White did not immediately confirm whether the UFC retains the right to match contract offers under the terms of Henderson’s previous deal. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker did not return phone calls.

White, though, said he wanted to re-sign Henderson but couldn’t agree on the money in a new deal.

“We have a good relationship with Henderson, and there are no hard feelings,” White said. “He had a figure he believed he was worth, and we had our own figure, and we weren’t able to get together.”

Definitely didn’t see that coming. I can’t help but wonder is this is just a negotiation ploy on Hendo’s part, but without any sort of confirmation from Scott Coker it’s hard to tell.

It would definitely be a big signing for Strikeforce if it happens though. Despite being 39-years-old, Hendo has proved he’s still an elite-level fighter in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, and would make for one hell of a challenger to Mousasi’s light heavyweight title. Still, it’s hard to picture him outside the UFC at this point, but I guess if he can’t have Anderson Silva and the money he wants, he’s not afraid to leave, or at least that’s how it looks right now.

Update: According to Josh Gross, Strikeforce hasn’t even offered Hendo a deal yet.

Dan Henderson has not received an offer from Strikeforce. He met Scott Coker for the first time and they had coffee. That’s it.

Don’t expect Henderson to make any moves before the Nov. 7 Strikeforce card on CBS. Again, he has not even been offered a deal.

UFC and Hendo have negotiated for three months. Nothing much has changed on either side. He could return to UFC, but is now open to leaving.

Update 2: MMA Weekly caught up with Hendo and got a few comments.

Henderson on Friday laughed at news he’s been shown the door by the UFC.

“I’m still hoping to come to terms with the UFC, until I heard this,” he said. “And I will be exploring other options for sure, but I definitely need to make sure I get paid.”

Next week, Henderson plans to hunt in New Mexico and Utah and assess the situation when he returns. He remains firm on his terms for a deal with the UFC.

“UFC’s got a business to run and I’m not doing charity work with this,” he said. “I don’t believe that I’m asking for too much money, and I know for a fact that I’m taking less money than other fighters.”

We’ll see what happens, but from all accounts other than Kevin Iole’s article which cites Dana as the only source, Hendo isn’t “on the verge” of signing with anyone. It’s starting to look like a negotiation tactic on Dana’s part, not Hendo’s.