An expected matchup between Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields and Dan Henderson, first reported in December has finally been signed to take place at an April Strikeforce event, Shields today told MMA Weekly:
“It’s a go now. We finally worked it out a few days ago. It’s a done deal, it’s been agreed upon by both parties as far as I know, and I think it’s set to go. I have a date (and) venue, but they told me to hold that back. Hopefully CBS. I think it’s CBS. There’s a slight possibility of Showtime because they’re still (working it out). I don’t know the rest of the card or any of that yet. But me and Dan’s on, and I’m hoping it’s on CBS.”
While not official, Shields-Henderson is rumored to headline an April 17 CBS-televised card in Nashville, Tennessee.
Shields (24-4-1), who will appear as an assistant coach on the UFC’s upcoming The Ultimate Fighter 11, has won 13-straight fights dating back to 2005, including recent victories over Nick Thompson, Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler, as well as a win over Jason “Mayhem” Miller in November to win the vacant 185-pound title.
Henderson (25-7) makes his Strikeforce debut in the bout after returning to the UFC in 2007 through 2009. A Division I and Olympic wrestler and former two-division PRIDE champion, Henderson rebounded after back-to-back losses to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Anderson Silva with three-straight wins over Rousimar Palhares, Rich Franklin, and, most-recently in July, Michael Bisping.
Recent rumors indicate that top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko will not be in action on the card, but Strikeforce has made no official announcements regarding its April events and has not replied to requests for comment.