This Saturday night, Pride FC legends Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko will face off in a superfight which will take the main event spot on the aptly titled Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson fight card.
With Henderson currently surging, having taken out Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante to earn the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, the media focus heading into the fight has been placed on Emelianenko, who has dropped two straight contests for the first time in his 34-fight professional career.
Many, including Henderson, have questioned “The Last Emperor’s” drive and motivation following the two flat performances, but in a recent conversation with MMAWeekly.com, Henderson explained that, though the stoic Russian certainly hasn’t looked the part of the fearsome Pride champion he once was, he’ll still be as dangerous as ever, if not more so.
“I watched both of these fights, and I felt it seemed like against [Fabricio] Werdum he got cocky with his submission defense, thinking he wouldn’t get submitted and everybody can get caught. With [Antonio] Silva, I think he was a little bit out of shape and the size definitely got to him,” said Hendo. “I think anybody that has their back to the wall coming off two losses like that is definitely more dangerous. But I think Fedor is going to try and hit me with the same punches he would have tried to hit me with if he had won his last two fights.”
The bout will be contested in Emelianenko’s home division of heavyweight, despite the fact that Henderson is a traditionally undersized light heavyweight. The California native revealed, as he has time and again, that he did what he could to pack on weight, but that doesn’t see size being an issue in the fight.
“It’s tough for me to gain weight,” he said. “I did weightlifting and plenty of eating; I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. I’m not going to feel outmatched or small in there.”
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson goes down on July 30 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com that night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.