Strikeforce Fedor vs. Henderson Results: Report Cards for All Main Card Fighters
After a long MMA drought, we finally have another major card in the history books.
Strikeforce: Fedor vs Henderson went down tonight at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, IL. In another solid offering from Strikeforce, we saw an emperor fall once again, a former middleweight champion make a successful move to heavyweight, the crowning of a new champion, a green beret do work, and two welterweights make their case for a shot at the welterweight title.
So despite whether they won or lost, how did each fighter from the main card perform?
Read on, then dish out your own grades.
Scott Smith: C-
To be perfectly honest, Smith was never close to being in this fight. It looked as if his back-to-back knockout losses had some effect on him.
Saturday night, Smith looked like a shot fighter. After all the wars he has been in during his career, it may be time for "Hands of Steel" to take a close look at his career, and decide if it is a good idea to move forward with it.
Tarec Saffiedine: B+
Known primarily as a submission specialist, Tarec Saffiedine showed that his striking is not to be overlooked. From the start of the first round, until the final bell, Saffiedine showed that his striking was superior to Smith's, and hurt him multiple times in the process.
The latest rumors going around have Saffiedine fighting for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title in is next fight. We will all have to wait to see if this rumor is true.
Paul Daley: C
Everyone knows that wrestling is Daley's Achilles heel. In his fight against two-time wrestling All-American, Daley showed that he had been working on his wrestling, as he was able to defend against most of Tyron Woodley's takedown attempts.
But his training fell short, as Daley found his back on the mat too much during the fight, and was unable to get his powerful punches off against the still green Woodley. It will be interesting to see what Strikeforce does next with the powerful Brit.
Tyron Woodley: B
Woodley made a strong case for placing him among the elite in the Strikeforce welterweight division Saturday night when he was able to earn an unanimous decision over Paul Daley. Woodley was relentless with his takedown attempts, and even had the edge when it came to the overall striking numbers.
But Woodley also showed that he still has holes in his game that need to be addressed, namely his defense against strikes on the ground. If Daley did have any success in this fight, that is where it happened.
It has been rumored that with this victory, Woodley has put himself in a spot to fight for the vacant welterweight title against Tarec Saffiedine, a fighter whom Woodley has already defeated once before.
Robbie Lawler: D+
What happened to Robbie Lawler?
During his fight against Tim Kennedy, it seemed that Lawler had many openings to unleash his powerful strikes, but he could never pull the trigger.
Lawler showed great takedown defense against Kennedy in the early part of the fight, but it went downhill as the fight wore on. Lawler continued to press forward throughout the later part of the fight, but he did not do anything when he needed to do it.
Tim Kennedy: B
Kennedy, who always claims he loves to stand and trade, once again went away from this approach in favor of flexing his ground skills.
You really can't blame Kennedy for this approach. It was very clear from the fight's onset that Lawler had the advantage when it came to striking power.
But you do have to give Kennedy props for his kicks. Towards the end of the fight, it looked as if the constant leg kicks took a toll on Lawler.
With this victory, Kennedy might have put himself in line for another shot at the Strikeforce middleweight title.
Marloes Coenen: B
In her second defense of her title, Coenen looked very good. But very good wasn't good enough against Miesha Tate Saturday night.
Coenen used her noticeable size advantage to get the better of the striking, and even had Tate in trouble on the ground on a few occasions. But her lack of defense against the takedown ultimately ended up being her downfall.
Coenen had her moments of getting the better of Tate on the ground, but it wasn't enough as she was forced to tap out for the first time in her career in the fourth round to lose her title.
Miesha Tate: A
Miesha Tate had to wait nearly a year for the shot at the women's bantamweight title that she earned by winning a one-night tournament last year, but she still took advantage of the opportunity given to her.
There were times during the fight that Tate looked like she was in over her head against the larger, and more experienced, Marloes Coenen. But Tate was able to gut it out, and secure an arm-triangle choke in the fourth round to claim her first major title.
Tate will make her first defense against Sarah Kaufman, who is one of only two fighters to defeat Tate. This should be a very good fight.
Fedor Emelanenko: C
Coming off of two consecutive losses, Fedor needed this win to not only assure the MMA world that he is still a relevant force, but to also keep fans and the media from calling for his retirement once again.
The fight was a shootout from the get-go, with both Fedor and Dan Henderson looking to load up with their biggest and best punches. Fedor had success first, but once again over-committed once he had his foe in danger of being stopped.
Now after dropping three in a row, and being stopped for the first time, critics will once again be jumping on the "Fedor needs to retire" bandwagon. But as Fedor has always said about his career, he will leave his future in God's hands.
Will he continue to fight on? "God's will" will determine that.
Dan Henderson: A-
Dan Henderson, former Pride middleweight and light heavyweight champion, moved up to heavyweight to take on Fedor Emelanenko in a "Legend vs Legend" match-up. This fight, in all honestly, had no relevance in Strikeforce's heavyweight landscape, but it was sure fun to watch.
Both fighters threw their best punches at the other. Fedor was the first to get stunned, but was also first to drop his foe. Henderson was able to keep his cool, work his way off of his back, and land a sneaky uppercut on the ground to hand Fedor his first (T)KO loss that wasn't due to a doctor stoppage.
While this is another feather in Henderson's cap, don't look for him to stick around at heavyweight. There are plenty of fights at light heavyweight for him to take moving forward.