On July 30, two of the biggest legends of the sport will finally cross paths as Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson comes to you live from inside the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. With many of the originally planned bouts having to be scrapped due to injuries and other various issues, the fight card has now been finalized. Let’s take a look at the Main Card bouts to be broadcast on Showtime and break them down.
The first bout of the broadcast is a battle between Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (17-8-1) and Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine (10-3) in the Welterweight Division. Originally, Saffiedine was set to face Evangelista Santos, but was then replaced with Paul Daley and given Smith. Both fighters are coming off losses (back-to-back for Smith) and a win here may be crucial in saving their career. When Scott Smith is in the cage, you know what to expect and that’s for him to stand in the pocket and trade punches with whoever is in front of him. Saffiedine, on the other hand, is better known for his grappling and his submission game. In this battle of Striker vs. Grappler, whoever is quickest to enforce his gameplan may very well leave the cage as the victor.
The next bout of the broadcast is between Welterweights Paul “Semtex” Daley (27-10-2) and Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (8-0). Daley’s original opponent, Evangelista Santos, was forced to pull out due to injury and T-Wood stepped up to fill his spot. While Semtex owns more knockout victories than Woodley does fights, he’s had trouble with wrestlers in the past. Woodley has never faced anybody with Daley’s striking abilities before and he may be in for a rude awakening if he isn’t careful in setting up his takedowns. If Woodley can get the fight to the ground without taking any significant damage, he could very well grind out a decision or lock up a submission.
Next up is a battle between heavy-handed “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7-1) and Army Veteran Tim Kennedy (13-3) in the Middleweight division. Lawler’s last bout ended in a submission loss when he faced “Jacare” Souza for the Middleweight Championship. Kennedy’s last bout also ended via submission, but he was the victor over Melvin Manhoef. Although Kennedy is more well known for his grappling, he does own some knockout victories, but not quite as many as Lawler. If Kennedy wants to stand and trade with Lawler, he may be in a bit of trouble. This fight is definitely going to be one that you won’t want to miss.
The Co-Main Event of the evening features Marloes Coenen (19-4) as she defends her Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Championship against Miesha “Takedown” Tate (11-2). A year ago, Tate won the right to face Coenen when she won the Women’s Welterweight Tournament, but had to pull out of their first scheduled bout due to a knee injury sustained during training. Having been out of action for almost a year, Tate is going to have to shake off any Ring Rust before fight night if she wants to take Coenen’s title. Although they are both predominant grapplers, their grappling styles are different as Marloes is a Dutch-style submission grappler and Miesha is a wrestler. A win for Marloes would mark her third consecutive victory and her second title defense and possibly open the door for another 135lb tournament to crown a number one contender. A win here for Miesha would definitely be the biggest victory of her career and earn her bragging rights back at the Alpha Male compound. In one of the most anticipated WMMA bouts this year, may the best woman win!
The Main Event of the evening is a clash of two legends as “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-3-1) faces off against “Dangerous” Dan Henderson (27-8) in the Heavyweight division. For many years, numerous fans clamored for a Couture/Fedor fight to go down but it never did. While Henderson may not be quite as legendary as Randy Couture, he is definitely up there on the list of Great MMA Fighters. In an attempt to resurrect his career, Fedor will be facing off against a seemingly rejuvenated Henderson. Even though there is no official title on the line, the legendary status the winner will receive is just as great. The talent level between these two is surpassed by few others, if any at all, and when theses two men are locked in the cage together you can expect something great to happen. Henderson will more than likely be coming in much smaller than Fedor and will need to keep Fedor from using his weight advantage to control the pace of the fight. If Henderson can connect with his feared overhand right, he could very easily end the fight as he has numerous times in the past.
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