Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson: The Superfight That Isn’t

Fedor vs. Dan Henderson is one of the most anticipated fights of the year, and it probably won’t live up to that great burden. Coming off of two straight losses for the first time in his career, Fedor Emelianenko is looking for one of two things in this fight: to prove he still is a prominent fighter and/or to give the fans one last great hurrah.

In other words he has nothing to lose.

On the other edge of the sword, Dan Henderson has everything on the line. He is coming off a title victory and seems to be experiencing a career resurrection. Can he handle a fighter of Emelianenko’s caliber?

Let us go back about a year, when Dan Henderson made his Strikeforce debut against Jake Shields. Coming into the fight, Shields was the decided underdog against the recently-signed Hendo. But then a strange thing happened; Henderson could not handle Shields stand up OR his ground and pound. Dan Henderson, a decorated wrestler, was taken down at will by the seemingly undersized Shields, and was quite literally pounded into a unanimous decision loss.

Why and how could the indomitable Dan Henderson be grounded by Jake Shields?

Because he’s not the fighter that he once was, he just thinks that he is.

Michael Bisping said it best before UFC 100 when he stated that Henderson has deteriorated into a one punch fighter, possessing only that big right hand of his. The problem with this is that Hendo still thinks and fights like he is the Pride Champion that he once was.

Switching gears to the Russian, unlike being the fighter that he ONCE was, tonight he will fight this fight the way that he needs to. He needs to take Henderson down like Jake Shields did and ground and pound him into submission. He needs to use his superior ground skills to take this fight where it needs to be for him, namely on the mat. Fedor has always fought best on the ground, easily mounting many of his outgunned opponents and delivering powerful elbows and strikes.

Quickly examining the logistics of the fight, Dan Henderson has left is that big right hand, he spends the entirety of his fights with his right hand cocked and looks to knock his opponent out. Henderson just happened to catch Bisping, and it seems that he just does not possess the skills to take on a fighter of Fedor’s skills. Not at heavyweight.

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