Heading into the UFC Fight Night 32 main event against Vitor Belfort, 43-year old Dan Henderson was in the last fight of his current UFC contract. The stakes for him heading into the fight had more to do with negotiating leverage than it did title implications. Henderson came in riding a two-fight losing streak, which had him in a precarious position.
The question after he lost via a brutal first round knockout was: Would the UFC be interested in re-signing Henderson, who’s losing streak now sits at three? That question was asked of UFC president Dana White after UFC Fight Night 32 took place in Goiania, Brazil.
"Yeah, obviously we’ll get together, we’ll talk to him," White told Fox Sports 1. "He’s on a three-fight losing streak right now. His age and everything else, I’ve got to talk to him and see. I knew Dan would want to fight again; he’s a fighter, that’s what he does. So, we’ll talk."
White reiterated the point at the post-fight press conference, saying he’d talk to Henderson in a few weeks to figure things out. Henderson, who was knocked out for the first time in 40 professional fights, went straight to the hospital after the fight. The popular Team Quest fighter had said before the bout with Belfort that he would like to re-sign with the UFC, and had hopes of fighting at least four more times.
The reigning Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Henderson was successful in his return to the UFC when he won a decision against Mauricio Rua at UFC 139. He was set to fight for the UFC’s 205-pound title against Jon Jones at UFC 151 in Las Vegas before an injury forced him out of action (and ultimately sunk the card as a whole).
Since that time he had lost back-to-back close decisions to Lyoto Machida (UFC 157) and Rashad Evans (UFC 161) before getting finished in his light heavyweight bout with Belfort. The loss also signals the first time in Henderson’s career that he’s dropped three fights in a row.
As for Belfort, White said he could be next in line for the winner of Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, who will fight for the middleweight belt at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.