New York, NY, January 22, 2009 — Dan Henderson will serve as coach of the American team for season nine of “The Ultimate Fighter: US vs. UK” premiering Wednesday, April 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.
Henderson earned the right to coach after defeating former middleweight champ Rich Franklin via split decision after an intense bout at UFC 93 last Saturday night. He will be opposed by British sensation Michael Bisping. Production for “The Ultimate Fighter: Team US vs. Team UK” begins this Friday, January 23 in Las Vegas.
Henderson is the ideal American team coach for “The Ultimate Fighter: US vs. UK” as he is no stranger to representing his country in the sport he loves. Henderson was a member of the United States Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team in 1992 and 1996 and has competed all over the world both as an amateur in wrestling and as a professional in mixed martial arts.
A native of Victorville, Calif., Henderson (24-7) was an all-state wrestler in high school and went on to grapple at Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State University, participating in the 1993 NCAA championships.
Henderson made his UFC debut in May 1998 at UFC 17 in a tournament-style event where he defeated Allan Goes and Carlos Newton. Henderson then embarked on an incredibly successful mixed martial arts career in Japan.
In October 1999, he defeated five opponents including renowned fighters Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Renato “Babulu” Sobral to win the “King of Kings” title. He is the only the only fighter in MMA history to hold two titles in two weight classes concurrently in a major fight organization as he held the now defunct PRIDE’s 205 pound and 185 pound titles.
He returned to the UFC in September 2007 to fight Rampage Jackson in London for the UFC light heavyweight belt. In front of one of the biggest television audiences ever for a mixed martial arts fight on Spike TV, Rampage won a hard-fought five-round decision.
Henderson moved down in weight-class to 185 lbs to fight Anderson Silva in March 2008 at UFC 82. Silva won the highly anticipated fight with a second round submission via choke to unify the PRIDE and UFC middleweight belts. Henderson returned to his winning ways with a unanimous decision victory over Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88 last September. His most recent victory over Franklin serves as major step in another shot at a UFC title.
Henderson currently lives in Temecula, Calif., with his three children and wife Allison and trains with Team Quest.