New Dan Henderson Interview
Talks about possible matchups, MMA games, fighting Fedor and fighting in Dream.
IGN: Are the rumors true that Dana White, president of the UFC, will blacklist fighters who sign with EA's MMA title?
Henderson: He didn't blacklist Randy [Couture]. He resigned him after already signing with EA Sports. I think it's probably more applicable to up-and-coming guys. I was never concerned about being blacklisted.
IGN: Do you play videogames?
Henderson: I do, but not as much as I used to. I don't have the time anymore. I played last year's UFC game a little bit, and it is weird watching yourself get punched in the face or knocked down. But I haven't seen the new EA title yet at all.
IGN: So you played UFC Undisputed 2009. Is there anything you'd like to see done better with EA's game?
Henderson: I didn't play it enough to really know, but it seemed like it could have had a lot more specific moves you could perform. It was definitely a step up from the past titles for sure, but I'd like to see it be a bit more technical with the move sets.
IGN: There's talk of you fighting Jake Shields. Do you have an update on that?
Henderson: I'm supposed to be fighting him in April on CBS. Jake is a dangerous guy, he's a good wrestler that takes people down and controls them and submits them, or controls them for a decision. For me, I just have to be real careful to not get taken down myself. It's a pretty good matchup for me, but I still have to be real careful with him.
IGN: Is this a fight you want just because it's for the middleweight belt? Or would you be interested in fighting Jake otherwise?
Henderson: It's just for the belt. There's probably quite a few more exciting matchups out there for me, but Jake has the belt and that's the first step.
IGN: Are you going to stay at 185 for a while?
Henderson: I need to get through Jake first, but once I do that I'll probably stay there for one title defense then figure out what I want to do. There are quite a few guys at 185 that are tough. Jacare looked pretty good. Melvin Manhoef looked pretty good until he got knocked out. I honestly haven't even thought beyond this fight with Jake as far as matchups go.
IGN: When you first signed with Strikeforce, you said you were interested in fighting Fedor Emelianenko.
Henderson: Someone had asked me if I would, but for sure that fight excites me to test myself. I do these things for the challenge, not completely for the money. I get up for the bigger challenges.
IGN: Is there anything you think you could do against Fedor that other fighters haven't
Henderson: Beat him. I'm definately capable of doing that. We have a similar style, but I'm sure I'm the better wrestler.
IGN: Are you satisfied with Strikeforce's lineup? Are you missing any big matchups because you're not in the UFC?
Henderson: There are a lot of guys I'd like to fight in the UFC, but unfortunately the way the whole MMA system is, it's the UFC's way or go somewhere else. Hopefully I can have some of the better matchups in Strikeforce and see what happens from there. I'm just excited to be a part of Strikeforce.
IGN: Between all the different MMA organizations, there are slight variations in the rules. Is there a particular set of rules you prefer?
Henderson: I would love to see a combination of elbows put into Strikeforce to the face, and knees to the head on the ground, that's one thing I miss about Pride. That's one thing that didn't make the fight not quite so slow in certain situations.
IGN: Do you have a preference fighting in a ring or a cage?
Henderson: I fought in the ring for eight or nine years, but I'm getting used to the cage, and as a fan, I'd rather be watching it in a ring because you can see it easier. It also makes you be more skilled on the ground trying to position an opponent without the cage.
IGN: Strikeforce and Dream, a Japanese MMA organization, have an agreement to share fighters. Any chance you'll go to Japan?
Henderson: I'd love to go back and fight in Japan, maybe on their New Year's Eve card.
IGN: Is that allowed in your contract?
Henderson: Who knows, but I'm sure we could work something out.
IGN: I want to go through a quick list of names, and if you can, let me know which fights interest you and how you think you can win them.
IGN: Cung Le
Henderson: I watched him fight for the first time against Scott Smith. He's got some impressive kicks and is entertaining to watch. That would be a fun fight. I could stand with him.
IGN: Robbie Lawler
Henderson: He's always dangerous and exciting.
IGN: Matt Lindland
Henderson: We've known each other forever, and for the right price we'd definetly fight. Right now, where he's at with things doesn't quite interest me.
IGN: Frank Shamrock
Henderson: Probably the same as Matt. He doesn't entice me at all.
IGN: Gegard Mousasi
Henderson: Yeah, he's got a very different style and would be a very tough play for me. That would be a big challenge. He's quite a bit bigger than me.
IGN: King Mo
Henderson: I don't know, not quite yet in his career. I don't think he's there yet. But very talented and has potential for sure.
IGN: Anything else about the game or your career?
Henderson: I'm excited about the relationship with EA Sports and Strikeforce and using that as a platform for their game. From what I understand, EA is pretty knowledge about MMA and they study each guy. They did their homework.
"Silva you got one commin. little ass ninja you better keep your ass down at 185 buddy, cheatin MOTHERFU.....I better watch my language my moms watchin"
- Mark "The Hammer" Coleman