Steve Sievert recently sat down with PRIDE Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson to collect his thoughts on the UFC’s current way of paying their fighters. It seems that Randy Couture wasn’t the only one unhappy about the situation:
“It seems like guys could be happier,” Henderson said. “Part of the problem is that they had a couple, three bad shows and got killed in Ireland (at UFC 72) on the money. And, possibly the fact that they spent a boatload of money buying Pride and didn’t do anything with it; they are trying to make some cutbacks, and the fighters aren’t overly happy about that.”
The most interesting excerpt from the interview was when Henderson revealed that he had actually turned down a proposed contract extension from Dana White prior to UFC 75:
The 37-year-old Team Quest fighter has one bout left on the Pride contract he brought with him to the UFC. White offered an extension, but Henderson didn’t bite. He thought the offer was low and chose to take the fight against Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 under the terms of his Pride contract, which left him with no opportunity for a fight bonus.
Despite assurances from White that he would be taken care of in the UFC, Henderson is waiting for what he thinks is an equitable offer.
“He was telling me that, ‘We haven’t had guys leaving. We take care of the guys, that’s why they’re happy. We don’t want guys that are unhappy,’ ” Henderson said about initial negotiations with White. “I haven’t seen that.”
At this point, though, Henderson isn’t ready to follow Couture out the UFC door. His preference is to stay with the organization and he wants to “give the UFC a chance” to bring another offer to the table.
So now it’s not only the disagreement of what weight class Henderson should fight in that’s holding things back, it’s his contract now too…