Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko enter the Strikeforce cage on Saturday on very different paths. Fedor is coming off the only two-fight losing streak of his illustrious career, and Henderson is coming off two explosive knockout victories.
Fedor will enter the Strikeforce cage with a completely different mindset than Henderson. For the first time in his long championship career, the Last Emperor enters a fight in a must-win situation. His career will not be in jeopardy, but it's very likely that his job in Strikeforce could end with another loss.
Dan Henderson is a seasoned veteran of the MMA game. A little over a year ago, Henderson lost to Jake Shields in his Strikeforce debut. It was his third try at winning a world title in three years, and it turned out to be his third failure to do so. It appeared that the career of the 40-year-old legend would be coming to an end.
But Dan Henderson has always possessed the great equalizer in his massive overhand right hand. It's flattened many men, including a historic knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100 in 2009. After knocking out Renato "Babalu" Sobral last December, Hendo was given a shot at the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title. It was his fourth title shot in as many years.
His monstrous right hand proved to be his savior once again as he flattened Rafael Cavalcante in round three to become the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. With the Strikeforce light heavyweight division in a state of flux and no true title challenger at the moment, Henderson was approached with an amazing opportunity. He would face former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko in a heavyweight superfight.
Both of these men possess devastating right hands. The real question of this bout is whether Henderson has the power to knock out Fedor, who has a great chin and is used to being hit by heavier foes.
Can Dan Henderson knock Fedor out? I think it's absolutely possible, but if he gets a stoppage this is more likely to come down to a referee stoppage of some kind. Fedor has one of the best chins in the sport, and it's very unlikely that he would be knocked out cold.
One thing is certain about this fight. At Strikeforce Fedor vs. Henderson in Hoffman Estates, Illinois this Saturday, the fans of mixed martial arts will be treated to a battle for the ages.