MMA legends Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko and Dan “Hendo” Henderson will meet on July 30th at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Emelianenko and Henderson share numerous MMA titles, and are widely considered as two of the most influental fighters in the sport.
Emelianenko is currently 1-2 in his Strikeforce campaign, defeating Brett Rogers but losing to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. “The Last Emperor” holds a fantastic MMA record of 31-3, with victories over Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Semmy Schilt, Renato Sobral, Mark Coleman, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski and many others.
Fedor stands at the crossroads of his career, after suffering from a devastating defeat against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, earlier this year. Thirty-four year old Russian announced his retirement, but later changed his mind and declared that he will continue fighting. Here’s some of the most important quotes from the Russian media over the past weeks, with Fedor Emelianenko talking about what could be the biggest fight of his illustrious MMA career:
Two mistakes in a row is not a coincidence. I didn’t want to make the third, so that’s why I considered retirement. But then, I discussed the situation with my trainers and my spiritual father. When I returned home, I was fully convinced that it’s not the right time to retire, but to continue fighting. Our life is full of crossroads, and we always have to make the right decisions. I have no regrets about staying in the sport, and will continue fighting. – Fedor Emelianenko on his decision to continue fighting, speaking via SportBox.ru.
Dan Henderson is a very exciting fighter; he’s a strong wrestler and is very quick with taking the fight from stand-up, down to the ground. He starts in stand-up, but then he attacks like a tornado, often surprising his opponents by putting them on their back. Like I said, Henderson is an exciting fighter. But there were also fights where he had to sweat against a relatively weaker competition. It’s all about how you match-up up against your opponent. So yes, Dan Henderson had some fights where things didn’t go his way. – Dan Henderson’s strengths and weaknesses, via MixFight.ru.
I think that if Fedor loses to Dan Henderson, he will retire from Mixed Martial Arts. And like I said many times before, it will be his decision and we (M-1 Global) have no influence of any kind on whatever he decides to do. It’s all up to him.But we hope for the best. Fedor is very motivated, and will be more than ready for this fight. He has a new goal, and is fully concentrated on reaching it. – Vadim Finkelstein about what will happen if Fedor loses to Dan Henderson on July 30th, interview via Championat.ru.
Photo: Fedor Emelianenko speaks at a post-fight press conference at Affliction’s “Banned”, a mixed martial arts fight at the Honda Center on July 19, 2008 in Anaheim, California. Francis Specker