Dan Henderson Speaks About His TKO Victory over Fedor and His Future in MMA

Todd Seyler@toddseylerContributor IJuly 31, 2011

Dan Henderson victorious over Fedor
Dan Henderson victorious over Fedor

Strikeforce: Fedor vs Henderson from the Sears Centre in Hoffman States, IL featured an epic one-round battle between two legends of the sport, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko and Dan "Hendo" Henderson.

Taking the fight right at Henderson from the opening bell, Fedor was extremely aggressive, throwing wide punches at a relentless pace.

Stunning the "Last Emperor" with a solid hook, Henderson followed up his punch and slowed Emelianenko's pursuit with his customary clinch work against the cage landing a barrage of tight knees and leveraging his weight against Fedor.

Separating, the fight ensued whereupon Fedor dropped Henderson with a clean strike. Looking to finish Henderson on the ground, Fedor drove in for the kill. Quickly, "Hendo" turned the tables with a slick reversal from the bottom ending up on Fedor's back where he delivered the knockout uppercut.

Stepping in to save Emelianenko at 4:12 of Round 1, referee Herb Dean awarded the two-time Olympian, former two-division Pride champion and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, Dan Henderson, the victory.

Speaking with Ariel Helwani post-fight for MMA Fighting, Henderson stated that this victory over Emelianenko is "probably the biggest win of my career. I feel awesome. I wanted to test myself against someone like Fedor."

What some may consider an early stoppage, Henderson spoke about the final seconds of the fight.

"I hit him pretty good and he just landed face first on the ground. I hit him a couple more times and that's when Herb started to step in," Henderson said.

With an overall 31-4-1 MMA record, Emelianenko had never tasted defeat by (T)KO in his illustrious career until last evening.  

Considering retirement prior to his matchup with "Hendo," Fedor's comments during the post-fight interview inside the cage was that his future is in "God's hands."

Reacting to the news that Fedor may retire, the always humble and professional Henderson said, "I would like for him [Emelianenko] to continue fighting."

As for "Hendo's" future, last night's main event in Illinois was the last fight on his current Strikeforce contract.

This 40-year-old icon, however, has been on a tidal wave of success with three straight victories under the Strikeforce banner.

"I would like to defend my title at 205 in Strikeforce, but I am open to unifying the belt with whoever the champ is in the UFC," Henderson told Helwani.

A truly incredible fight between two of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever grace the famed Octagon. Stay tuned for news regarding the futures of both Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson.

I welcome your comments.

Todd Seyler

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