Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
UFC president Dana White isn't known for kow-towing to fighters, even the top stars. Generally when a fighter is offered a bout by White or UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, they better take it if they know what's good for them. White and Silva have been willing to bench some pretty big names for extended periods when they felt those fighters were behaving like prima donnas (ask Andrei Arlovski or Roger Huerta).
But there are some fighters Dana is willing to make an exception for and former Strikeforce and Pride multi-division champ Dan Henderson is one of them. He spoke to Fight Day (transcribed by MMA Mania) and here's what he had to say:
"Yes, Dan Henderson will get the winner of that fight (Jones vs. Evans) or the winner of the Anderson Silva fight. Dan Henderson just wants a title shot. You know, there was a lot of talk about the stuff I said. Here is the thing. I offered Dan Henderson two fights. Dan Henderson wants this fight. Normally I don't do that. Guys don't sit around and wait and pick their fights. There's been very specific cases where that has happened and it's guys who have earned it or deserved it. Dan Henderson is one of those guys. Listen, Henderson has been around forever. He is forty-something years old. He has been knocking guys out left and right and if he wants to sit around and wait for this title shot, he can do it."
So it looks like the 40-year-old Henderson will be watching the Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans light heavyweight title fight at UFC 145 and the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title bout at UFC 147 very closely. Dan's already said he won't fight his old training partner Chael Sonnen so I am kind of expecting him to go ahead and take the winner of Jones/Evans as soon as that fight is over.