Since newly crowned Strikeforce 205lb champion Dan Henderson joined Strikeforce fans and pundits alike have daydreamed about the possibility of him fighting Russian star Fedor Emelianenko, and according to a new report it actually become a reality in 2011.
The FightersOnly website is reporting that “negotiations are underway” and Fedor is, “giving serious consideration,” to the prospect of facing the former PRIDE and UFC fighter.
It’s a fight that makes sense on a number of levels. For one Emelianenko has struggled recently against considerably heavier opponents in the heavyweight division, so a move down to 205lbs, or potentially even a catchweight of 215lbs or so, may suit him. It would also be a way to re-energize his career and turn over a new leaf after losing two fights in a row for the first time in his career.
Secondly, there’s not a definitive No.1 contender at 205lbs at this moment in time, so Strikeforce can afford to be somewhat creative about who Henderson faces next after having won the title on Saturday night.
Thirdly, this would be a fight that’s likely to generate a lot of attention and interest. Henderson on his own has so far not proven to be a big draw for Strikeforce, but then he’s not had a bonafide big name star standing opposite the cage from him yet either. This could be the fight that takes him to the next level from a casual fan’s perspective, and from a hardcore fan’s point of view it’s a must-see.
Finally, who wouldn’t want to see whether Fedor’s casting punch or Henderson’s overhand right emerges victorious if the two were to lock horns in the cage? Would Henderson’s wrestling or Fedor’s Sambo based grappling skills come out on top on the floor? It’s a very finely balanced match-up and would be fascinating to watch unfold.
The only downside I see is that it pulls Fedor away from either a return to the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP as a replacement should anyone get injured, or else a fight with the loser of the Fabricio Werdum Vs Alistair Overeem fight which takes place in June.
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of how Fedor might fare at light-heavyweight though, so I certainly wouldn’t object if this is the way things pan out.
Having said that it’s also worth putting out the usual warning that with Fedor’s management M-1 Global involved, the likelihood of such a deal coming together quickly is unlikely, and indeed may never materialize.