Rundown of post-fight news and notes from Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Henderson”…
— 8,311 fans attended the show at the Sears Centre Arena for a $638,470 live gate.
— Scott Coker declared Fedor Emeliaenenko vs. Dan Henderson “one of the best fights in the history of Strikeforce.”
“If you look at that fight, I think it stands right up there. If you look back at the history of Strikeforce, which is relatively a newer company, I think the ones that stand out in my mind are, in our early days, Frank Shamrock fighting Cung Le – that was an unbelievable matchup. And Nick Diaz fighting Paul Daley this year – unbelievable fight. And tonight, I think this one probably tops those two. So arguably one of the best fights in the history of our company.”
— It was definitely a thrilling fight while it lasted, but of course all anyone could talk about was the ending. Some argued that Herb Dean made the right call while others argued that he blew it. When asked what he thought about it, Fedor told the audience after the fight that he thought it was an early stoppage, while Dan Henderson thought it only saved Fedor from further punishment.
“I felt great about the stoppage. I felt that, had the ref not jumped in, I would have definitely not been moving off top of him and probably knocked him unconscious even more. I thought I was going to fight a three-round war with him. Obviously I would have liked to caught him like I did but I felt that he’s going to be hard to knock out, he’s a veteran that if he gets hurt, he’s going to be able to recover like he did in the first flurry of the fight.”
It was so close, I think it could be argued both ways, but I do know when it happened, I was pissed. I wanted to see more!
— With the fight in the books though, all the focus will now turn towards their futures. As always, Fedor says his future is in the hands of God. For now, he will return to Russia to spend time with his newborn daughter while his management team determines what opportunities are out there for him.
“I can’t really say. I have to sit down with my manager Vadim (Finkelstein) and see what kind of offers and opportunities we’ve got… Right now, what I’d like to do is return home to Russia to see my newborn daughter. She was just born, and I’m very fortunate for this gift in my life. With respect to MMA, I just have to think about it and decide what I’m going to do in the future… My entire adult life and young life, all I’ve known is training and fighting and competing. That’s something that I very much love continue doing, and I’d still like for that to be a large part of my life. But today, my life, what’s first is my faith and my religion, and then my family. That’s what I live for. … My job and what I do for work is secondary behind those two things.”
Until we hear something more concrete everyone will continue to wonder if this was Fedor’s last fight. In Strikeforce, probably, but I don’t see Fedor going out on a loss he doesn’t fully believe he deserved.
As for Hendo, he’d like to stay in Strikeforce, but says it’s all up to Zuffa.
“I’d like to defend my belt in Strikeforce. But it’s all up to Strikeforce and now Zuffa (LLC), the new owners. We’ll see what happens, but I’m just going to enjoy this victory for a while.”
With a lack of compelling fights in Strikeforce, I think it’s time for Hendo to return to the UFC. If Tito Ortiz beats Rashad Evans, I say they slide Hendo into the number one contender’s spot at light heavyweight. If Rashad wins, match him up with Lyoto Machida and have them fight for the next title shot after Evans gets his. I don’t know if that’s possible, but that’s what I’d like to see.
— Miesha Tate became a Strikeforce champion last night with an unlikely submission victory over Marloes Coenen. Tate was proud she was the first person to make Coenen tap out.
“It was right there. A lot of people praise her submissions. I wanted to beat her at her own game. I’m the first person to submit her, and that feels pretty good.”
Meanwhile, Coenen vowed to come back and get her belt back.
“I’m going to train really hard,” Coenen said. “I want to come back. I want to get my belt back. Sarah wants her belt back. But for now, it’s Miesha’s, and I congratulate her.”
Nothing is official yet, but it looks like Sarah Kaufmann will get first crack at the new champ.
— Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine may have secured the top spots in the welterweight title hunt last night. Scott Coker wouldn’t say for sure, but he thinks they’re the frontrunners to fight for the vacant title.
“That’s something we’re going to go back to the office and have a conversation internally (about). But I would think that Tyron and Tarec are going to be frontrunners for that vacant title when it gets done. They both looked great tonight.”
Woodley agreed. He thinks he’s done enough to earn the shot.
“At this point, I definitely wouldn’t be satisfied with anything else (but a title shot). I didn’t ask for the fight with Paul Daley because I knew he was a cakewalk. I knew he was a tough guy with heavy hands. I knew stylistically, it would be a great fight. I definitely thought this fight would put me in the position to be in a world title (fight), and I still have that same idea – and I don’t think there’s anybody else in the weight class that deserves it. I feel like I’m the No. 1 (fighter) at the weight, and I think I should be fighting for the world title.”
— Following Alistair Overeem’s departure from the organization, there are no current plans in place to determine the next champion, but Scott Coker says they do expect to figure it out very shortly.
“Yeah, certainly. What we’re going to do is circle back in the offices next week, and then hopefully we’ll have an announcement as to how the next champion will be crowned.”
The obvious answer of course is to award the belt to the heavyweight grand prix winner. Nothing else makes any sense, but we’ll see what Strikeforce comes up with.
— And last but not least, Dana White’s reaction to the Fedor-Hendo fight.
Image via James Law for MMA Fighting