An incredible fight card from Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson was headlined by the legendary battle between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson.
A controversial decision to stop that fight may have put a sour taste in some fans' mouths, but the event overall was a massive success as fans packed the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., to watch what is sure to be one of the most memorable Strikeforce events of all time.
Here are some quick results for those who might be interested, but we will also take a closer look at each fight as you read on.
Brian Humes submitted Gabriel Salinas-Jones in Round 3
Derek Brunson submitted Lumumba Sayers in Round 1
Alexis Davis defeated Julie Kedzie by a unanimous judges' decision
Tyler Stinson knocked out Eduardo Pamplona in Round 1
JZ Cavalcante defeated Bobby Green by a split judges' decision
Tarec Saffiedine defeated Scott Smith by a unanimous judges' decision
Tyron Woodley defeated Paul Daley by a unanimous judges' decision
Tim Kennedy defeated Robbie Lawler by a unanimous judges' decision
Miesha Tate defeated Marloes Coenen by a unanimous judges' decision to become the new Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion
Dan Henderson knocked out Fedor Emelianenko in Round 1
Two Illinois natives start it off for us at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson.
Salinas-Jones attempts a takedown but ended up on his back in side control and was unable to recover for most of the first round, taking little damage but finally got on his feet and secured a takedown of his own with about a minute 30 left. Gained back control from the top and rained down punches until the bell rang.
Humes looks very tired here in the second round as he gasps for wind against the cage early. Referee pulls them apart with about 3:20 left. Salinas-Jones secured a takedown then quickly moved to mount. Humes is covering up well but in big trouble. Humes survives another round just barely.
Humes lands a huge shot that sends Salinas-Jones to his back. Humes has him in trouble and is looking for a choke. Secures it at 1:19 in the third round and Salinas-Jones is forced to tap.
Brian Humes submits Gabriel Salinas-Jones, Round 3
Big come from behind victory for Humes who was nearly finished twice in the early rounds.
Huge hands back and forth they eventually end up on the ground,where Brunson ends up on top. Sayers scrambles to his feet but gets taken down again. Back up to the feet where Sayers lands some big shots. This is definitely a big clash of styles with Brunson's wrestling vs. Sayers' striking.
Two huge hard kicks surprised Brunson and nearly ended the fight. He tried to finish it with s flying punch but instead ran head first into the cage! Brunson eventually secured the win with a rear naked choke at 4:43. Brunson remains undefeated in his MMA career.
Derek Brunson submits Lumumba Sayers, Round 1
Brunson looked good when the fight was on the ground, but was unable to get the advantage on the feet until Sayers was worn down from trying to get up off his back.
Awesome exchange of punches early and Davis pushed Kedzie against the cage. Davis is definitely the stronger of the two and is using less energy to get around the cage. Lots of cage control from Davis, but Kedzie appears to be doing most of the damage when the two break apart.
Kedzie landing punches but gets pushed against the cage again. Nice trip by Davis but Kedzie quickly scrambles to her feet and pushes Davis against the cage. Davis takes Kedzie's back standing and begins looking for a rear naked choke with about 20 seconds remaining. Kedzie holds on, though.
Kedzie looks more desperate in this round as she might be down 20-18 at this point. Fans are booing as there has been a lot of cage control in this one without a ton of damage. Julie Kedzie just cannot get off the cage as the final horn sounds.
Alexis Davis defeats Julie Kedzie by Unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Davis essentially controlled this fit from bell to bell and was never in any real danger. She appeared confident in her game plan as has been common with members of Jackson's team in recent memory.
She doesn't have quite the big name value as some of the other top female fighters but one has to assume that she is nearing a title shot of her own.
Sarah Kaufman is expected to fight for the title next, but Davis could be right in line after that with maybe one more victory.
Stinson starts it off strong, rocks Pamplona with a shot almost immediately and gets a violent knockout win! Pamplona is out cold and the doctors tend to him.
It was a left hook that landed on the button to secure the knockout. Pamplona is bleeding badly from his nose, which is likely broken.
A somewhat surprising outcome as many believed Pamplona was the favorite in this one, but Stinson proved that his striking is no joke in this one.
Green pushes JZ against the cage early and drains his opponent's energy. Cavalcante has a small cut under his right eye but id landing more and has been more aggressive thus far. Cavalcante now in control looking for a takedown against the cage.
Back to the center with 45 seconds left and Cavalcante looks to finish after a head kick. Green clinches though and makes sure to yell "that was nothin!" at the photographers before the round ends.
Green controlling and landing knees to the back of Cavalcante's leg before securing the takedown. They scramble back to their feet quickly though. Back and forth striking on the feet with not much damage being done.
Green pushes JZ against the cage, but gets tripped and ends up on his back. JZ rains down shots from the top and secures Green's back. He has a rear naked choke applied as time expires. Green was saved by the bell here.
Green still looks confident in the third round and simply smiles every time JZ lands something. Green been effective with his jab but that has been about it this round.
JZ looks for another trip but falls flat on his face. JZ pulls a guillotine with about 10 seconds left but Green yanks his head out and makes it out of the round.
JZ Cavalcante defeats Bobby Green by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Close fight but ultimately it seems that the judges scored Cavalcante's near-submissions highly.
Nevertheless, this has to be a bittersweet victory for Cavalcante as this streak of lackluster performances continues for the once highly touted lightweight. Certainly, it is always good to get in the win column, but JZ's fans should be a bit worried.
Smith loading up the right hand but has eaten s few jabs in the process. Saffiedine has him pushed up against the cage and lands a few knees to the body and legs. Big punches to the body now but Smith escapes the fence and takes the center of the cage.
Smith pushes Saffiedine against the cage and looks for a takedown but gets reversed. Referee breaks it up. Spinning roundhouse heel to the head from Saffiedine but Smith blocks it and the round comes to an end.
Smith does not seem very aggressive yet and has taken most of the damage. Tarec lands some shots and Smith buckles but is able to stay on his feet. Big elbows to the head against the cage and Smith is definitely hurt right now.
Saffiedine fakes a body kick but flips it up to the head and and smacks Smith with it. Smith holding on for dear life on the ground with Tarec on his back. Saffiedine looks to put the hooks in with about 75 seconds remaining in the round, but Smith escapes back to his feet.
Huge shots on the feet again from Saffiedine and another head kick. Smith is showing how tough he is in this round but has taken a tremendous amount of damage.
Smith looks a bit more aggressive this round bit is still hesitant for some reason. He is at least pushing the pace somewhat in this round though. Smith really pushed the pace late in the fight, but it was too little, too late.
Tarec Saffiedine defeats Scott Smith by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
One judge even scored this fight 30-26 for Saffiedine. This was not a close fight in any way and is a very disappointing loss for the former champion, who continued his slide down the rankings into obscurity.
It's probably too early to pull the plug on Smith's Strikeforce contract but it has to be in the back of the promotion's mind, especially with how he lost tonight.
Generally Smith's fights are entertaining whether he wins or loses, but this one was mostly Saffiedine dominating in the standup game, where Smith once earned his nickname of "Hands of Steel."
His hands must have been on vacation in this one, however.
Woodley pushes Daley against the cage early but Daley lands a low blow and Big John pulls them apart. Wild striking from Woodley but not much of it is landing. Woodley pushes him against the cage again but Daley is showing impressive takedown defense. John finally breaks it up. They end up against the cage again and Woodley still has not been able to get Daley down.
Woodley finally gets the fight to the ground about a minute into the round and begins working his ground game. Not doing much damage though and John repeatedly warns them to keep working. John stands them up with about 25 seconds left.
Woodley looks for another takedown but Daley defends with a nice sprawl and eventually ends up on top where he throws a couple punches before the round ends.
Knee from Woodley seems to effect Daley but he keeps pushing. Daley looks for a left uppercut but Woodley ceases the opportunity and secures another takedown. Daley looks exhausted as he sits against the cage. Woodley's grinding style has definitely served its purpose.
Daley lands a nice right hand as Woodley is getting up and Woodley flattens out on the ground. Daley tries to finish but is unable to. Daley landing huge shots late in the round, looking to steal a win.
Daley nearly secures an omaplata but Woodley escapes. Woodley ends up on top again as the fight comes to an end.
Tyron Woodley defeats Paul Daley by unanimous decision
Good effort from Daley especially early and late in the fight, but it appears that his career has stalled out a bit. He avoided going to his back early but once he was there, he was definitely a fish out of water.
With Nick Diaz having left for the UFC, the Strikeforce welterweight division is wide open and looking for contenders. Woodley's name has to be at or near the top when it comes to a potential fight for the now-vacant title.
Feeling out early, not much damage either way. Tim shoots but gets denied and the two fighters exchange punches as they get up. Kennedy desperately looking for a takedown a finally has Lawler down with bout two minutes left in the round.
Lawler scrambles back to his feet, though. Kennedy with a takedown and ends up in side control. Smooth transition to mount with 30 seconds left but Lawler escapes back to his feet.
Lawler lands a left uppercut but Kennedy quickly shoots and stops the flurry before finally getting Lawler to the ground in half guard.
Tim is bleeding but it doesn't appear to be bothering him as he rains down shots from the top. Lawler is defending well and even landing from the bottom but has been able to escape.
Cut is on the bridge of Kennedy's nose and no where dangerous at all but it does look ugly. Kennedy up against the fence here and Lawler lands a shot but fails to follow up. Lawler looked like he was going for a flying knee but Kennedy stopped him with a leg kick and went for another takedown.
Kennedy eats another punch but Lawler doesn't follow up again. Kennedy gets him against the cage again a quickly lands a takedown. With 20 seconds remaining, Kennedy lands punches from the top and controls the fight until the final horn.
Tim Kennedy defeats Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Classy act by Tim Kennedy bringing his wounded friend Mike into the cage after the fight. "give me Jacare, I want the title."
In the post-fight press conference, Kennedy reiterated his distaste for MMA judging, adding that he was not only confident that he would win this fight, but that he was actually disappointed that he didn't finish it.
Kennedy is very confident in his skills and added that he was disappointed that Lawler seemed to be trying to counter his attacks rather than bringing the fight to him.
"Whoever I fight next, I just hope they meet me in the center of the cage where we can go toe-to-toe," he said.
Another shot at the Strikeforce middleweight title may be coming for Kennedy after the upcoming championship bout.
Miesha pushes in early and puts Marloes against the cage. Finally secures a takedown with about 2:55 left in the round, but Coenen grabs her head in a guillotine. Tate powers through and gets into side control. Tate continued to control from the top until the round ended.
Tate immediately pushes in again and puts Coenen against the fence. Tate gets the takedown but Coenen flies around and ends up on her back! 3:30 left and a lot of time for the submission specialist Coenen to get a choke.
Coenen has a full body triangle now and is looking for the choke. Tate doing a great job so far but has not had a inch to escape. Finally she gets a chance and flips over to land on top for the final 10 seconds or so of the round.
Tate looks tired as we enter the third round but she continues to be the one to push the pace. Tate catches a leg kick and secures a takedown. Coenen scrambling for submissions off her back but Tate brushes her off with relative ease. John stands it up with 1:50 left.
Tate quickly secures another takedown, this time against the fence. Coenen with a beautiful sweep but only a couple seconds remained in the round.
Another nice takedown from Tate against the cage and she ends up in side control. This fight has been largely controlled by Tate. She looks for an arm in triangle and secures the submission!
Miesha Tate by submission, new women's bantamweight champion
An emotional Miesha Tate fell to her knees in the center of the cage as she celebrated her victory. This amazing story has come full-circle for the girl who began fighting for Strikeforce all the way back before they were a national organization.
Her road to the championship has been a long one full of bumps and she deserves all the respect she is now being given.
With Gina Carano and Cristiane Cyborg Santos temporarily out of the sport, it seems as if an opportunity to rise to the top of the sport is here for Tate to grab.
In the post-fight press conference, a humbled Marloes Coenen gave a tremendous amount of respect to Tate, whom she admitted she had underestimated coming into the fight.
Coenen added that she did not believe that Tate could submit her before, but is now a believer in the new bantamweight women's champion.
Back and forth big shots but neither man secures the ko yet. Fedor against the cage as things finally slow down almost a minute into the fight. Fedor grabs the cage to avoid a takedown and Herb Dean warns him. Hendo landing knees against the cage but not doing a ton of damage. He explodes out and lands a left as he backs away.
Fedor lands a right and Henderson backs away quickly. He definitely respects the power in Fedor. Fedor lands some shots but Hendo responds with a shot that sends Fedor down. Hendo lands shots that seem to land right on the back of the head but the referee calls a stop to the bout.
Dan Henderson defeats Fedor Emelianenko by TKO, Round 1
The controversial stoppage from Herb Dean added to a now growing list of fights which some fans do not want to believe went against their favorite fighter, Fedor.
But while many are focused on how Fedor looked on the ground when the fight was stopped, I believe it was how he looked when he got back to his feet that was most telling.
As he stood up, Fedor looked completely dazed and disoriented before nearly buckling again at the knees. He managed to stay up, but that was all that anyone really needs to know to know that this was a good stoppage.
In fact, the only real source of controversy should be whether the punches Henderson landed after the uppercut were legal or not.
At least one appeared to hit the back of Fedor's head and as the fight was happening, Herb Dean could have well been stepping in to stop more illegal shots from Henderson before possibly even deducting a point from the 205-pound champion.
As it was, though, it is hard to argue that Henderson was the better fighter tonight. Perhaps this spells the end of the legendary Emelianenko, but the reaction from the fans should tell the story as practically no one wants this to be the final fight for "The Last Emperor."