“I did speak of retiring and it was said in haste. Two mistakes in a row can not be coincidence. I do not want to allow a third, which is why I thought about departing from the sport. But then I discussed the situation with my coaches and spiritual father when I got home. After this I was absolutely sure that it is not the time for retirement and I must continue to fight. Now I’m training and preparing for the next battle with Dan Henderson… I’ve drawn conclusions on what areas of my training need work and what to pay attention to in training and in battle. This time I have trained in Holland, in Russia and again at the training camp in Holland. I work with people who are the best in their disciplines and are focused on preparing me for the battle with Dan Henderson…Training for a fight is never easy regardless of the opponent. I train and prepare for every contest the same so I can compete to the best of my abilities… I am glad that I will soon be fighting and am taking it seriously as I always have. I always like and appreciate the support for the fans; I am very grateful to everyone who supports me. I’ve never considered myself as a legend – just a simple man with heart. I’m looking forward to competing against Dan Henderson.”

— Fedor Emelianenko talking to SB Nation about his upcoming fight against Dan Henderson

While I still wish this fight were taking place at light heavyweight — I’d be a lot more interested if it were — Dan Henderson should still prove to be a tough opponent for Fedor. Fedor won’t have to deal with a world class jiu-jitsu game or a monstrous human being with skills to boot, but he will lose the speed advantage that has helped him dispatch so many opponents.

What I’m curious to see is where Fedor tries take the fight. You know Hendo is going to come out of the gate with his right hand cocked, looking for the big KO, but will Fedor throw down with him? Or will he try to put Hendo on his back where he’s not much of a threat? Well, if history is indication, Fedor won’t hesitate to engage where Hendo is at his best, but with Fedor reevaluating his training and approach, I do wonder if he’ll start fighting a little smarter. Three losses in a row would be devastating to his career, especially against someone who’s not a true heavyweight. That’s a fact Fedor seems to be well aware of.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime