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Dan Henderson is crazy

Now this is a surprise. Here I was thinking that Dan Henderson was just dicking around with Strikeforce in an attempt to make the UFC offer him more money. But now he’s gone and signed with the San Jose promotion, capping off a head scratcher of a situation that doesn’t make much sense to me any more. Here’s MMA Junkie with the background:

In October, UFC president Dana White said the 39-year-old Henderson, who made a base pay of $250,000 at UFC 100 ($150,000 of which came in the form of a win bonus), simply demanded too much and would have become “the highest-paid UFC fighter” if the UFC gave him what he wanted.

He later told Radio that Henderson never seemed serious about getting a deal done and may have been influenced by Tito Ortiz’s recent new deal.

“The [expletive] that Dan came in and said in my office and what he wants, it’s unrealistic, and he knows it,” White said. “And it’s basically based off of, ‘I heard this guy is making this, and I heard this guy made (this much).’ Basically, what everybody gets pissed off about is Tito. ‘Oh, I heard Tito is making all this money, and Tito is this and that.’ And it’s because Tito likes to go out there and stay stuff like that or somebody in his camp did.

White suggested Strikeforce couldn’t match what the UFC offered.

“The negotiations are done,” White said. “I made [Henderson] an offer, and I guarantee you the offer that I made him, Strikeforce can’t pay.”

That’s the really interesting question in my mind. If Hendo comes back for Strikeforce’s January 30th event in Florida, we’ll get to look at the commission’s pay numbers. Standard number fudging aside we should be able to find out roughly what if any kind of pay cut Dan took to fight for Strikeforce. Just for reference’s sake, here’s what we know about how much some of the bigger names are making over there:

  • Fedor (300k + 1.2 million to M-1 per fight)
  • Frank Shamrock ($369,790)
  • Cung Le (200k per fight)
  • Gina Carano (125k to show, ? to win)
  • Babalu (75k to show, ? to win)
  • Nick Diaz (30k to show, 10k to win)
  • Jay Hieron (25k to show, 30k to win)
  • Fabricio Werdum (25k to show, 25k to win)
  • Scott Smith (25k to show, 25k to win)
  • Brett Rogers (20k to show, 20k to win)
  • Joe Riggs (20k to show, 20k to win)
  • Gegard Mousasi (2k + ??? to M-1 per fight)

So Strikeforce just made Dan Henderson one of the highest paid guys on the roster or he just took a paycut for some random reason. Actually, there’s a good chance both of those suppositions are true, since even at 250k per fight I can’t imagine Strikeforce being able to match the sponsorship, bonus, and PPV money Hendo would be making with the UFC.

So my big question is why did Dan go to Strikeforce? How does this make sense? Perhaps after the Tito and Randy situations I’m a jaded dude who can’t see past the dollars, but Dan’s getting old and you can’t retire on respect. What’s his angle? Being a bigger fish in a much smaller pond?