Fedor. Hendo. Say either of their names and two of the greatest legacies in mixed martial arts come to mind.Fedor Emelianenko is one of, if not the best heavyweight to step in a ring or cage. Dan Henderson has defeated names like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, and Murillo Bustamante. If I were to say “this isn’t a battle of legends”, I would be lying.
However, both combatants will enter off of very different results.
“Hendo” will walk into the cage Saturday night a winner of his previous 2 contests. He weathered an early storm against Rafael “Feijao” Calvacante to stop the Black House product in the third, and he blasted out “Babalu” in the first 3 months prior to that. Emelianenko enters the contest off the only two legitimate losses of his career. Fabricio Werdum made him submit to a triangle choke in the first a little over a year ago, and “Bigfoot” stopped him after a back-n-forth affair in February.
If Fedor wins this fight he can get back to tracking down fights with the heavyweight top ten, some big fights inside the LHW division, or a cross-promotional match-up with UFC top PFP fighter Anderson Silva. If Dan wins calls for him to take on the top 5 in the UFC LHW division will undoubtedly get louder.
The question is, who has more left in the tank? Hendo or “the last emperor”?
On to the picks!
HunterB – This fight is going to be one for the ages, hopefully… I see Hendo being able to score a few take downs, and maintain top control at some points of the fight early on… Fedor will rally back in the 2nd and take the last 2 rounds. Emelianenko by Decision
edub – I agree with Hunter that Dan could land a few takedowns in this one. However, I think he’ll try for them too late. Dan’s striking has gotten better, and I think that will be his undoing against Fedor. Dan’s chin is great, and nobody has ever put him away (Anderson was close). Except Fedor hits harder than anybody he’s ever fought against. Emelianenko TKO 1
HunterB – Fight could be a war, it all depends if Lawler can keep the fight standing, where he wants it… fight stays standing, Lawler wins… if Kennedy gets his take downs, he wins. I’m going with Kennedy by second round submission though, i just feel he is stronger and perhaps even faster than Lawler. Kennedy Submission 2
edub – Robbie has been a favorite of mine ever since I became a fan of the sport (along with BJ and Nick Diaz). With that said, I’m gonna have to pick against him. Robbie has the fight ending power to stop anybody in the world (at any weight). He just can’t seem to get his cardio problem under control. Every time he makes a run it ends abruptly when a fighter stands up to his power, then takes him into the deeper part of the fight. I feel Kennedy is good enough to do that. I hope I’m wrong (even though I’m also a big fan of Tim). Kennedy Submission 3
HunterB – Coenen beat Sarah Kaufmann quite handily, Kaufman beat Tate quite easily also. I’m going with MMATH on this one, and feel Coenen’s sub game will be too much for Tate. Coenen Submission 3
edub – Coenen was taken down at will by Liz Carmouche. In my humble opinion Tate is a better wrestler than Liz, and her training at Team Alpha Male (Anybody else find it funny a woman that hot trains at a place named “Alpha Male”?) will have her submission defense even better. Tate by Decision
HunterB – Tarec Saffiedine is a relatively unknown fighter to mainstream fans, but not to me. Unless Smith can land one of his famous one hit wonders, then Tarec is easily a better fighter in all aspects, not to mention more prepared. His original opponent Cyborg Santos is a brawling type fighter, just like Smith, so his game plan probably didn’t change up much. Saffiedine by Decision
edub – I share a lot of the same thoughts as Hunter here. Saffiedine is the better fighter, and Scott Smith hasn’t exactly looked that good at 170lbs. I do want to pick Smith here, he’s shown great resiliency and power, a lot of heart, and has talked about a renewed priority for wrestling in training. Those things really make me want to select Scott here, but I’m not going to do it. Saffiedine TKO 3
HunterB – I dislike Paul Daley tremendously, very bias on him losing. At the same time though Daley has always lost to top game wrestlers, Woodley is also known for a great submission game, another Daley weakness. Woodley wins in the second round by submission… might I add screw Paul Daley. Woodley Submission 2
edub – In my opinion, this will be Paul Daley‘s swan song as a “top tier” welterweight. I never really thought he was great fighter, but he did have some good wins under his belt. However, I think Woodley is going to beat him here the same way 95% of the wrestlers in the top 30 could. Take him down, and grind him out. It may not be exciting, but if you can’t get off your back, you’re not going to win at the highest levels of MMA. Woodley by Decision
Photo: Igor Karaev via Wikipedia