Heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko was TKO’d in the first round by Dan Henderson last night in the main event of Strikeforce’s latest event in Chicago, but afterwards the Russian agreed with a number of other observers that referee Herb Dean had stopped the bout prematurely.
“It’s just my opinion, I felt the fight was stopped early and I could have continued,” Fedor told Ariel Helwani backstage, though he also added that he didn’t want to question the referee’s decision.
The referee appeared to react to Fedor going face down on the canvas after being hit with a clean strike to the chin by Henderson, although moments later he appeared to have regained his senses and was turning to face his opponent as the fight was being stopped.
According to Fedor he was hurt, but was not knocked unconscious at any time during the incident.
“I wouldn’t say I was out in any way. I definitely got hit, but I don’t believe I was out,” he stated via his translator.
Earlier at the post-fight press conference Emelianenko had been asked whether he would be interested in a rematch with Henderson in the future.
“With regard to a rematch, we’ll see…but it seems that a lot of potential rematches have built up with my last few fights!” Fedor joked, a rare smile appearing on his face.
So now the question is whether Fedor will stick around to face those potential rematches or whatever else might come his way after suffering his third defeat in a row.
For now the notoriously private fighter is keeping his cards close to his chest, though he indicates a decision on his future will come sooner rather than later.
“I think in the near future [I’ll make a decision]. Within the next month, maybe even earlier than that.”