For old school Pride FC fans, the upcoming Strikeforce heavyweight match up between Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko is an exciting, intriguing one which many likely believed they would never see.
Currently the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, Henderson recently explained during an appearance on ESPN’s MMA Live that he is looking forward to this bout with “The Last Emperor” more than he has almost any other in his career and that, even though there are no titles up for grabs in the bout, the personal significance of facing the man who once ruled Pride is enough to get Hendo fired up.
“It’s definitely one of the biggest fights of my career,” said the 40-year-old veteran. “I think, internally, for me, myself, it means probably the most to me. Throughout my whole career — this is definitely a big one. There’s no belts on the line, but I’m gonna enjoy the fight.”
Normally competing as a middleweight or mid-sized light heavyweight, Dan Henderson will be giving up some pounds to the Russian legend and has tailored his approach to the bout as a result. The former Olympian smartly plans to fight the smaller man’s fight: stay active and tire out the larger man with constant pressure before hopefully finishing him off.
“I definitely wanna wear him out and I think I can beat him up in the clinch a little bit and put him on his back where he’s not used to being so much,” he said. “The biggest thing with him is staying in position, staying patient and wearing him out a little bit. I’m gonna be the smaller guy so I’m not gonna go out there and try and power through him and win the fight that way. I wanna make sure that I win each round, but I wanna wear him out doing it.”
Emelianenko and Henderson will meet in action in the main event of the upcoming July 30 Strikeforce vent, which takes place at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.