Well, that’s a tough one, you know, because let me tell you what. Although I don’t think Fedor is anywhere near the pound-for-pound list, and as far as heavyweights go, I’d have him toward the bottom of the top 10 and maybe just out of the top 10, here’s what I will not deny Fedor. He can punch, OK? That guy can punch and if he catches you, he can knock you out. The other problem is, though, that he rips easy. His face gets cut very easily, you know. Dan Henderson is tough, he’s got a great chin, he’s got great cardio, and he can knock you out with either hand, too. So that’s going to be a very interesting fight… If I’ve got to still give Fedor his digs, my dig would be, “Dude, you’re fighting a 185-pounder.” Henderson’s got a great chin, he’s durable, he’s got good wrestling, he can stay out of submissions, and all the great things I can say about Henderson, but Henderson weighs 185 pounds. So I actually think this fight, as far as Fedor is concerned, it’s a lose lose for him. If he knocks out Dan Henderson, he knocks out a 185-pounder. If he gets knocked out, he just got knocked out by a 185-pounder.
— Dana White, in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Tim Marchman, giving his thoughts on the Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson fight this weekend
I was waiting for this. Dana White has backed off quite a bit on his criticisms, to put it kindly, of Fedor Emelianenko now that he’s lost two fights and he isn’t actively negotiating with the “crazy Russians,” but I figured we wouldn’t get through this week without him pointing out how Fedor’s really fighting a middleweight this weekend. I don’t think it’s necessarily an unfair criticism — it’s the main reason I wasn’t excited about it in the first place — but I don’t think it’s a lose-lose situation for Fedor either. A win against Hendo isn’t going to put him back on anyone’s pound-for-pound lists and it’s not going to make him a top 5 heavyweight again, but it would make a statement that he’s not washed up like everyone says he is. After all, Fedor’s really not that much bigger than him and Hendo is a top-shelf fighter. Weight classes aside, it really is a very interesting match-up and while I wasn’t psyched about it before, I am looking forward to seeing the two legends throw down on Saturday night now that it’s almost here.
On a side note, I highly recommend you check out Tim Marchman’s full interview with Dana White over at SI.com. They talk about everything from Strikeforce, which Dana swears he has no involvement in and claims they’ll keep running if they can turn it into a viable business, to the slow year the UFC is having on pay-per-view and television. It’s one of the few instances where the interviewer actually challenged Dana on his answers.