Fedor vs. Hendo: Nothing at stake but PRIDEPosted on March 10, 2011, 04:15 PM by Ryan Ventura
Both Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko are two of the greatest Mixed Marital Artists to ever step into a ring or cage. Combined they have 11 MMA World Titles and we can’t forget the numerous medals in Wrestling, Sambo, and Judo. You can even argue that Hendo and Fedor are some of the most decorated Martial Artists to have ever lived. Both men have left their mark in the sport in a big way and are equally loved by hardcore fans. You know when Henderson and Emelianenko retire, those will be some big shoes to fill.
By now, everyone should be familiar with Fedor’s storied career. The Ukraine born, Stary Oskol, Russia raised fighter is truly a man that deserves the title of living legend. The Muhammed Ali of Mixed Martial Arts started his legendary nine year undefeated run in the old RINGS promotions, expanded to PRIDE, defunct promotions BodogFIGHT, Affliction, and of course Strikeforce . We’ve seen Fedor’s brilliance in his three fights against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, Brett Rogers, and many more. The list of top ranked heavyweights he has fought is nearly endless.
Most recently, we’ve seen Fedor at his most vulnerable and his age is starting to show a bit. He got caught fighting in usual reckless fighting in the guard of a BJJ black belt style against Fabricio Werdum. It worked against Big Nog in his prime in PRIDE, but unfortunately it didn’t work last summer. And of course who could forget what happened last month against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Fedor was simply too small for the big man and was overpowered by nearly fifty pounds. The heavyweight division in Mixed Martial Arts has changed a lot since Emelianenko’s heyday. It has become bigger, faster, and stronger. Times have changed and I think in 2011 it is time for The Last Emperor to make a change as well, before he rides off into the sunset.
Dan Henderson didn’t have a legendary undefeated streak like Fedor (most fighters can’t say they did), but his name is just as important to the sport. Hendo first made his name competing as an Amateur Wrestler at the highest level. He made the transition into Mixed Martial Arts in 1997 and hasn’t looked back. Hendo started his career in Brazil, fought in the early days of the UFC, but really made his name in PRIDE FC. In his long and storied career, Dan Henderson holds big wins against the likes of Carlos Newton, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Renato Sobral, Renzo Gracie, Kazuo Misaki, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping, and many other notable names. His latest high profile win to date was against Rafael “Feijao” Calvalcante for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title. Old Man Dan fed Feijao, his signature right hand that won him the title. Not bad for a forty year old.
Lately the MMA world has been buzzing about a potential match at 205 between the new Light Heavyweight Champion and The Last Emperor. Some sources claim that Fedor’s camp is seriously considering the move down to 205 and some claim that he won’t be moving down. Nothing is even remotely close to confirmed yet, but I can tell you one thing. This is a fight fans want to see, this fight is an event Strikeforce would want to book. Two MMA legends, two huge draws in the sport would help increase the awareness of the Strikeforce promotion.
Hendo has had plenty of experience fighting bigger guys back in his PRIDE days; this will not be new for him. Fedor on the other hand has been fighting in Heavyweight his whole career and practically fights at his walk around weight. Will it be difficult to cut to 205 for Fedor? I personally believe that chances of this fight happening is fairly slim, but as a fan boy I’d enjoy every minute of this bout. Both have very heavy and accurate hands, someone’s getting knocking out in this fight guaranteed. Emelianenko in my opinion has the better ground game and could submit Hendo, but Hendo has awesome submission defense. This fight would most likely take place on the feet and it’ll be “bombs away” from there.
If the fight does go down, it could potentially be one of Strikeforce’s biggest events, maybe even one of the greatest main events in MMA history. It would be a fight for the ages, a fight for the Light Heavyweight title, and most importantly a fight for pride. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget Dan Henderson still has to the fight the winner of Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle.
Photo by Dave Mandel for Sherdog.com