The upcoming Strikeforce event this Saturday will feature a heavyweight superfight between two MMA legends, “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko and “Dangerous” Dan Henderson. Fedor is looking to bounce back from a two-fight losing streak while Hendo will aim to be the third fighter to stop the once unbeatable legend.
Henderson is coming off a two-fight winning streak, beating Renato Sobral via KO and taking the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title by stopping Rafael Cavalcante.
How can Dan Henderson stop Fedor Emelianenko? The key to this is by using his wrestling. Henderson is an NCAA Division 1 wrestler and has represented the United States in international wrestling competitions. Henderson needs to take Fedor down and control the tempo of the fight. And from there he can inflict damage via ground and pound. In Fedor’s most recent fight, he was man-handled by Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. He lost the fight via TKO at the end of the second round.
But Henderson won’t enjoy the size advantage that Big Foot had. Dan Henderson has competed in three weight classes namely, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. But Hendo is a natural 205-pounder in a 5 foot 11 inch frame. Fedor on the other hand is a natural 230-pounder and is an inch taller than Hendo. We’ve seen in the Big Foot fight that size became a huge factor that helped Silva in controlling Fedor on the ground. What Henderson needs to do is to set-up his takedowns. He can probably open up with his lethal right hand to give him a higher chance of taking Fedor to the ground. But take note, Fedor has a lethal power punch as well and he has excellent submissions from the bottom.
Will Fedor get back to the top of the division? If Fedor wins this fight, it will surely boost his rankings. However, it won’t be that much since Henderson is not a natural heavyweight. But hey, it’s Dan Henderson. A win against Hendo is surely a big one.
Win or lose, what’s next Fedor and Hendo? If Henderson wins, he will be remembered as one of the fighters to ever defeat The Last Emperor and this will boost his rankings as a heavyweight. A light heavyweight title defense is definitely next in line. I can say that Henderson has nothing to lose, given that he’ll be fighting in a different weight class and his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title is not on the line. The bigger pressure is on Fedor. If Fedor wins, he can get back into the mix by taking on another top heavyweight. A rematch against Fabricio Werdum could be a good path. Or he could probably take on Alistair Overeem. If Fedor loses, I don’t know. I’m not saying that he should retire. He still has a good number of years ahead of him but I do think he should change training camps, further enhance his natural talent and develop more tactics to complement his array of skills. And hopefully he frees himself from the hands of his managers.
I know many MMA fans are excited to see this. Fedor fans are hoping for a huge come back. I am a Fedor fan and I am rooting for him on this one. Strikeforce: Fedor Vs Henderson will be on Saturday, July 30, at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Update: Henderson Stops Fedor via TKO in the First Round – After Thoughts