“It wasn’t [up to] me. I was wanting to get back in there pretty quickly, but I think part of the problem was CBS kind of a little bit faltering on their commitment to mixed martial arts, especially after the little escapade in the cage after my last fight on CBS… You know, I don’t quite understand that and they’re definitely still wanting to be involved in mixed martial arts and with Strikeforce, but I think they’re just gonna take their time on it a little bit more… It is disappointing [to not fight on CBS again], and the fact that that could have been easily avoided with the guys not coming into the cage after my last fight. It just gave them an out. But I also think that if CBS had a big problem with it, they didn’t need to put it on their Web site, didn’t need to replay it a bunch of times… I don’t know if they’re trying to renegotiate or get a little bit more out of the door, but I think they’re definitely still going to be on board. But that’s kind of what they were waiting on. [Strikeforce] wanted me to be on the next CBS card and CBS took a while and finally [Strikeforce] just got tired of waiting. I thought I was going to fight two, three months ago, but that’s the way it goes.”

—Dan Henderson telling MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani why it’s taken him so long to return to the cage

With Strikeforce Nashville’s poor ratings, it’s three lackluster title fights and the post-fight brawl to cap it all off, I’d be more surprised if CBS had scheduled another show this year.

As BE’s Kid Nate notes, Strikeforce started out strong on CBS with Fedor vs. Rogers last fall, but the opportunity to build on that was completely lost when M-1 decided to hold Fedor Emelianenko out for whatever they held him out for. CBS and Strikeforce decided to build the show off Dan Henderson instead and it tanked in the ratings. Is there really any reason to question why he isn’t headlining another CBS card?

I do hope CBS decides to give MMA another shot (not that they haven’t given it plenty of shots already), but I don’t expect them to do it without stars like Fedor Emelianenko and/or Gina Carano to anchor the show.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime