Strikeforce Fedor vs Hendo is set to take place this Saturday night from the Sears Center in Chicago, Illinois and it may be the tonic that Strikeforce needs to distract their fans away from some other disappointing news that has come out of the promotion recently.
Fans certainly are disgruntled at the state of the Heavyweight Grand Prix these days with Fedor out and Alistair Overeem up to his 'ole tricks again but two impeccable fighters and legends of this sport Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko can save Strikeforce some face this weekend. Aside from two of the greatest fighters of all time meeting for the first time in their careers, this card has some intriguing match-ups with various implications.
Here are 5 reasons you can't miss this card.
5. Watch Undefeated Tyron Woodley Step Up To Paul Daley
Tyron Woodley has had an incredible start to his mixed martial arts career and aside from a slightly controversial win over Nathan Coy his record is unblemished. A wrestler by his base, he is an exciting up and comer who is taking quite a giant step up in competition by facing Paul Daley. Daley is well known for his heavy hands, a controversial exit from the UFC and producing one of the best rounds of the year in his last fight, a loss to then welterweight champion Nick Diaz.
Tune in to see if this youngster can stamp his arrival in the elite by taking out the brash Brit.
4. Just how good is Tim Kennedy?
Tim Kennedy is a top-notch man. We all know he is a Special Forces officer in the United States Army and he deserves all the props he gets for that. My question with him is just how good of a mixed martial artist is he?
Kennedy has a solid resume with wins over Scott Smith, Trevor Prangley and most recently, Melvin Manhoef. He also has a rabid following of fans who follow his every move. The future is bright for him but right now I feel he has a bit more hype than his skills deserve and I am not sure how much a win over the game but limited Robbie Lawler will really prove.
If Kennedy gets a quick, convincing win over Lawler it will go a long way in clarifying how good he is.
3. Meisha Tate
I feel dirty. I feel like I am being unfaithful to my girl Gina Carano but I think I may have another female fighter crush when I look at Meisha Tate. However, this is different. I think Meisha can really fight. Carano can fight too but I certainly did not enjoy watching her get the beauty beat out of her in her last outing vs. Cristiane Cyborg Santos, a fight that put her out of commission for two years.
Meisha Tate seems to have that brash and toughness needed to bang and hang with the top women fighters out there. Oh yeah and she's almost as hot as Carano.
2. See 40-year old Dan Henderson continue his late career brilliance
Dan Henderson secured his place as one of the best wrestlers in the Untied States right around about 1997. Then he showed he was one of the best wrestlers in the world around 2000. That was eleven years ago now, and he hadn't even started mixed martial arts yet.
He switched to mixed martial arts immediately after and climbed to one of the best in the world by the year 2007. It seems Hendo has always been at the top of the combat world and it is always intriguing to see guys fight father time and win and Henderson certainly is winning on all counts.
How long can this incredible warrior stay at this elite level? He is now approaching "decrepit old ass" territory as Quinton Rampage Jackson so affectionately called retired 45 year old Randy Couture.
1. See The Emporer's last stand
I feel extremely lucky to have been there to see Randy Couture's last fight in the Octagon. There is something real in paying tribute to a warrior such as Couture by making sure you do what you can to see the last fight in their careers. Fedor is one of these warriors.
Fedor has hinted has last days in many ways with his post loss comments in his last two outings by hinting that retirement may be the only answer for him. A fighter with the fire still burning will defy defeat and vow to get better and avenge defeat and Fedor did nothing of the sort. It is clear to me as it always has been that Fedor feels he has nothing to prove to anyone on this sport and emotion plays little part in his make up.
Is he pulling a fast one on all of us and more specifically his opponents by claiming he is done only to gain that psychological edge and then blitz at the opening bell? It says here that this is his last stand. A loss to Henderson and we will never see him in the cage again, so don't miss it
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Feature Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA (also a correspondent for MMACanada.net).