As always, Kevin Iole has what Dana White wants us to hear:
White said Wednesday, "I guarantee you 1,000 percent that Dan Henderson is signed by Strikeforce."
"Honestly, I got a call from Dan's management a couple of days ago telling me Dan had turned down the UFC's offer," Coker said. "I guess the UFC made an offer and put a deadline on it. They turned it down and were calling to talk to me, but I told him I have this huge fight and there's a tremendous amount going on and I couldn't really deal with it at this point."
White said he wanted to re-sign Henderson, but not at the price Henderson proposed. Henderson had been in the mix to fight UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. White said he had no hard feelings toward Henderson.
"Dan and I have been friends and we will continue to be friends, but it just didn’t work out and he went to Strikeforce," White said.
Coker conceded he’d love to have Henderson under contract, but said White’s information is incorrect.
This is an interesting counter-point to the argument made in a BE diary that Dan Henderson was sitting in the catbird seat:
All of the turmoil leaves Henderson sitting pretty. He is waiting at home for the UFC to call. And if guys keep dropping like flies, they will have no choice but to give in to his demands. Henderson has the added bonus of being able to fight in two weight classes competitively. If you need to slot him in, for the right price, he is good to go.
But as I wrote a while back, Dana White is doing everything but wrapping a bow on Dan Henderson, setting him on fire and ringing Scott Coker's doorbell:
Hendo's not going to get the kind of guaranteed pay day he wants from the UFC and I doubt Strikeforce will want to pay him half a million dollars guaranteed either. He's got some value to Strikeforce as someone who could headline a Showtime against the winner of Mayhem Miller/Jake Shields or maybe against Gegard Mousasi. Maybe he could even fight Frank Shamrock or Cung Le in a match that would be booked for its promotional rather than competitive value. But I don't see that being worth $500,000 up front guaranteed to Strikeforce.
If Dan Henderson wants to start a bidding war for his services, Dana White has given notice that he won't be one of the competitors.
Dana White is clearly hoping that Scott Coker will be baited into paying huge money for Dan Henderson, much as Affliction paid a fortune for Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski and he's willing to push the story in the media.
Here's a news flash for any budding media analysts out there -- if Strikeforce signs Dan Henderson, the news will come from Scott Coker or Dan Henderson, not Dana White.