The most anticipated fight in Strikeforce history ended in a mere 4:12. Dan Henderson defeated Fedor Emelianenko in Round 1 via TKO handing Fedor his third straight loss and his first ever loss via TKO or KO.
The fight was everything you would have hoped for as an MMA fan. It was a wild slug fest from the opening bell with both fighters throwing caution to the wind and just letting their fists fly. The fighters took a brief break from striking as they clinched along the cage for about a minute. However, both guys picked up quickly where they left off and in a few seconds later the fight was stopped and Hendo’s hand was raised.
Both fighters were interviewed after the fight. Henderson said his future is up in the air as this was the last fight on his Strikeforce contract. He said he’d like to defend the championship but as of now he is a free agent. Fedor on the other hand told Gus Johnson that it was an early stoppage and that he could have continued, which was met by an array of boos from the Chicago fans.
I won’t say the stoppage was early but it is certainly debatable. In my opinion, Fedor was in more trouble in spots against Brett Rogers and Antonio Silva, and neither of those fights were stopped at those points. I was a little surprised when the fight was stopped as it looked like Fedor was still with it. You could go either way on it, but it wasn’t as if Fedor was outright robbed of a fight here.
Whether Fedor will continue to fight or not is just as up in the air after the fight as it was before the fight. Emelianenko told Gus that, “it is God’s will” as to whether he will fight again. It is really a tough call. He is now 0-3 in his last three and knocked out for the first time in his MMA career. Unfortunately I think Dana White will be playing the role of God here and my hunch here is that this is the last we see of him in Strikeforce. I can’t imagine Strikeforce or Showtime meeting his financial demands after suffering three straight losses.
Henderson becomes one of the hottest free agents in MMA since, well the last time he was a free agent. Henderson signed with Strikeforce over the UFC after the UFC refused to honor their agreement to give Henderson a UFC middleweight championship rematch with Anderson Silva. Some negative comments were said in the media by both sides, but it would appear from recent comments that Henderson and Dana White have buried the hatchet. I would be shocked if the UFC didn’t bring Henderson back, especially coming off a TKO win over Fedor.
In the semi-main event, Meisha Tate defeated Marloes Coenen in the fourth round to win the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion. This was not so much a great fight as it was a great finish. Coenen dominated Tate for four rounds when from out of nowhere, Tate grabbed an arm-triangle choke and tapped Coenen out. This was a fantastic come from behind win and the fans loved every second of it. I won’t go ahead and crown Meisha Tate the next Gina Carano, but another couple of wins like that and she may just be the new face of women’s MMA.
Dan Henderson defeated Fedor Emelianenko via TKO in Round 1
Miesha Tate def. Marloes Coenen to win the Strikeforce bantamweight championship in Round 4 via submission
Tim Kennedy defeated Robbie Lawler
Tyron Woodley defeated Paul Daley via unanimous decision
Tarec Saffiedine defeated Scott Smith via unanimous decision
Gesias Cavalcante defeated Bobby Green via split decision
Tyler Stinson defeated Eduardo Pamplona via KO in Round 1
Derek Brunson defeated Lumumba Sayers via submission in Round 1
Gabriel Salinas-Jones def. Bryan Humes via submission in Round 3
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