Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Strikeforce Fedor vs. Henderson: Will One of These Legends Suffer Their First KO

Regardless of whether you never liked Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko or whether you thought he was the greatest Mixed Martial Artist alive, regardless of whether Dan Henderson is "just another wrestler" to you or whether Dan Henderson goes down in your book as the greatest Light Heavyweight in MMA, there is no question as to how monumental this July 30 clash of the legends really is.

This is a dream fight for the ages, and it has the potential to be the three-round, 15-minute, legends-only version of what Jorge Santiago's Sengoku Middleweight title fight with Kazuo Misaki wound up being, despite the age of both men.

Henderson is coming off of the victory over Rafael Cavalcante in March—the bout that scored him the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title—while Fedor is coming off of the first two-fight skid of his career against two opponents in Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva, whom many feel Fedor should not have lost to.

For the first time since the days of PRIDE, when he had monumental clashes with Mirko Filipovic and Antonio Minotauro Nogueira, Fedor is in a fight that he is legitimately not supposed to win decisively, and for that matter, Dan Henderson is in such an affair as well.

We can speak on the issue of the clash of Fedor's Sambo and Judo against Hendo's Wrestling for days, but one other important factor is the issue of the chins.

Fedor has lost by TKO stoppage twice, but he has never been finished—that is, stopped by punches—nor has he ever suffered a knockout loss.

In the same respect, Henderson has never been knocked out himself, though, and only eight men have taken the overhand right to the Adam's apple and made Henderson pay for throwing it.

Will Fedor follow suit with the likes of Anderson Silva and Jake Shields, surviving Hendo's famous punch, or will Henderson be able to shut the great Fedor down?

On paper, all roads are pointing to Henderson knocking Fedor out, and it's true that when Henderson lands his overhand right on Fedor, Fedor has a Yeti's chance in Hell of surviving long enough to put any significant pressure on him, but then again, where was the shame in getting knocked out by Dan Henderson?

Besides, how do we know Henderson will even get the chance to connect the overhand right?

Maybe it's Henderson who gets knocked out—and by his own punch, no less.

Fedor's Sambo and Judo has brought him far in the sport, but his KO power has brought a new depth to the Russian's fighting arsenal.

Fedor has shown that he can lay someone out with a punch if given the chance, and it's kept him in the game this long, but can he make a possibility out of an impossible knockout win over arguable the epitome of an iron-jawed fighter come July 30?

Well, we'll just have to wait until the fight itself goes down to get our answer, now won't we?

SofĂ­a Vergara Nicole Richie Norah Jones Nicky Hilton Garcelle Beauvais

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