When last we saw Dan Henderson, he was fighting for the UFC middleweight title. Now, he’s working for Bellator. Sort of.
Henderson, the former Pride champion and MMA legend, will be making a promotional appearance signing autographs for fans and taking pictures for Bellator next month in Charlotte. Henderson will be part of the first stop on the Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series, which includes live fights and appearances by prominent names, the promotion announced Tuesday. Tito Ortiz will also be there.
Henderson, 46, retired from fighting following a unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping in a title fight at UFC 204 last October in England. “Hendo” has ties to Bellator president Scott Coker. Coker promoted Henderson in his days leading Strikeforce. Henderson is a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.
Bellator has regularly brought MMA legends to fan events during Coker’s tenure. Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba are among the major names to make appearances.
The first stop in the series will be at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend on May 19 and 20. Henderson and Ortiz will meet fans May 19, while there will be live fights, exclusively for those in attendance, on May 20.
The main event of the fight series stop pits Allen Crowder of North Carolina against Robert Neal of Georgia in a heavyweight bout. Per the press release, Bellator will consider signing the headlining prospects to multi-fight contracts.
The actual Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race goes down May 20 at 8 p.m. and will air on FS1.