Jake Shields open to Strikeforce title defense against Dan Henderson
by Dann Stupp on Dec 07, 2009 at 5:35 pm ET
Just hours after Strikeforce announced the signing of former UFC fighter Dan Henderson, one potential opponent said he's open to a matchup.
Henderson, who struck out on a potential second middleweight title shot against UFC champion Anderson Silva before signing a four-fight deal with Strikeforce, apparently won't face similar roadblocks at his new home.
Strikeforce's recently crowned middleweight champion, Jake Shields, stated he considers Henderson "a legend" and would "happily give him a shot at my belt."
Shields posted the comments on his personal Twitter account.
"Hendo (has) always been one of my [favorite] fighters," Shields wrote. "Huge signing for Strikeforce."
Henderson, a former two-belt holder for PRIDE Fighting Championships (until the UFC purchased and disbanded the promotion), bounced between the UFC's middleweight and light heavyweight divisions upon his return in 2007. He fell short in his title shots in both weight classes, and his run toward a second middleweight title fight fell short when negotiations with the UFC fell apart following his July knockout win over Michael Bisping.
Henderson instead signed with Strikeforce and is expected to be part of the organization's CBS cards. Strikeforce recently signed a deal with the U.S. network, and sources close to organization told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) that CBS executives heavily pushed for the Henderson signing and plan to feature him prominently on its broadcasts.
Shields, in fact, defeated Jason "Mayhem" Miller for the title in the co-main event of Strikeforce's debut show on CBS.
Strikeforce hasn't set a timetable for Henderon's promotional debut, though both Shields and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi are considered likely options for the fighter.
Henderson (25-7), a collegiate wrestling standout who represented the U.S. Olympic teams in 1992 and 1996, has won three consecutive fights and has defeated a host of jiu-jitsu fighters in his 13-year career. Shields (24-4-1), meanwhile, has won 13 consecutive fights and hasn't tasted defeat in nearly five years while racking up wins over the likes of Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley, Carlos Condit and Yushin Okami.
Strikeforce currently has Showtime-televised events set for Dec. 19 and Jan. 30, though no date has been set for a probable second CBS event.