Dan Henderson thought crushing Michael Bisping would launch him into a big-bucks UFC contract.
Most of the weekend talk surrounded Friday's news that Dan Henderson wasn't seeing eye-to-eye with UFC management on a proper contract negotiation. (Henderson finished his last deal with the Michael Bisping fight and was expected to face Nate Marquardt in a contender bout in the winter.) Dana White informed Yahoo's Kevin Iole that things didn't look promising: "He had a figure he believed he was worth, and we had our own figure, and we weren't able to get together."
While Iole implied Henderson would move to Strikeforce, Henderson's management downplayed the possibility, saying only informal meetings had occurred and that Henderson wouldn't make any decisions until later in November.
End objectivity, begin speculation. Henderson remains with the UFC. Here's why.
• There are no money trees in MMA. Whether he signs with Dream, Strikeforce or a backyard wrestling league, Henderson is unlikely to receive compensation that's significantly better than the UFC's offer. If the world's leading and most profitable promotion is unwilling to retain a modest draw, there's little sense in Strikeforce exceeding its offer.
• Henderson is a legend -- which is not to be confused with a draw. Henderson's visibility is at an all-time high thanks to his participation at UFC 100, which allegedly set all kinds of business records. And there's clear sniping value in swiping a high-level UFC attraction from his position as a co-No. 1 contender for a title. But Henderson's dry personality has done him few favors when it comes to selling tickets.
The question Showtime executives should ask themselves: If we pay Henderson what he believes he's worth, will he provoke the appropriate spike in ticket sales and viewers?
• Henderson Wants Silva. Disgruntled as he might be that Vitor Belfort has secured a title bout, waiting -- or fighting Marquardt -- still gets him closer to Anderson Silva than fighting in San Jose ever would. And Henderson has perennially been an anywhere-anytime type of athlete. Would he really be satisfied fighting Jason Miller?
• Bargaining. Tito Ortiz freely admitted to using Strikeforce and other promotions as leverage against his desired deal: A UFC renewal offer. If you want the girl, go be seen with another girl.
If Dan Henderson, age 39, is serious about pursuing a career cap, he really doesn't have any options at all.