Luke Thomas Fight Fix
This week on CSN Washington's The Fight Fix, SB Nation's Luke Thomas talks gives his prediction and preview for Saturday's Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson Strikeforce event.
The Fight Fix is back this week and this time I join host Dustin Green for a preview of Saturday's Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson main event airing on Showtime. Green and I talk about a number of topics, but I make the case (or make an attempt, anyway) that Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson will defeat Fedor Emelianenko and perhaps even by stoppage. It's impossible to deny Fedor has a number of ways to win the contest, but between Henderson's forward attacking style and Emelianenko's age (and all of the physical decline that entails), Saturday could very well be an upset.
You can also see The Fight Fix at CSNWashington.com.
Luke Thomas, Senior Editor - SBNation.com
20 secs, Who has the most to gain by taking this fight?: "I think Dan Henderson has a lot to gain and so does Fedor Emelianenko. Both guys have the ability to profit here handsomely depending on how things go. The one who has more to gain is also the same guy who has more to lose: Fedor Emelianenko. Coming off of 2 losses, looking kind of old in his last one. Looking unable to hang with the elite of the division not just because of size - I think it's a bit of a crutch that some of his fans have leaned on. But realistically, a big win over Dan Henderson, particularly by stoppage, a submission like an armbar. A classic Fedor Emelianenko armbar from the guard. I think that would really rehabilitate him a little bit. Give him a little bit more life in his MMA career and provide him a platform to maybe excite American fans a little bit more."
1:04, What would a 3rd straight loss mean for Fedor?: "I think that would be the end of Fedor Emelianenko. I don't see how he can continue after that. Certainly being the victim of a Werdum triangle or a ground-and-pound from Antonio Silva is nothing to be ashamed of, but when guys lose 3 straight...they have come back in mixed martial arts. You do see that. Nick Diaz got bounced from UFC after losing 3 straight, but he did it in his mid 20's. That's very different than doing it at 34 when you're probably past your athletic prime. When you really haven't made any critical adjustments in the course of your career to keep pace with the mixed martial arts game. I really believe that Fedor, should he lose, particularly in stoppage, that's gotta be the end of him."
1:46, Is it a big deal for Henderson to be smaller than Fedor in this fight?: "It's hard to say what you mean by big deal. I sorta feel like Dan Henderson will be optimal when he doesn't go too heavy. There's clearly a tipping point and if he goes to say 210, 215, he'd be doing himself a disservice. There'd literally be a sort of extra weight that doesn't provide any competitive advantage. He doesn't wanna balloon himself. Certainly being next to Fedor at 230 he's not a Brock Lesnar kind of bricked up specimen, but he is strong, he is fast. Even though he might be the heavier guy, between the weight and the speed that might actually be kind of bewildering, particularly in that clinch position for Fedor, even though he doesn't have the best defensive wrestling. I certainly believe that it's actually better for him to be at 206 than it is for Fedor to be at 230. Fedor at 230, I really believe is kind of slow."
2:35, Who are you picking and why?: "This is a really tough one. I can see advantages that either guy might have in this fight, but I really have to go with Dan Henderson. I know that's gonna make a lot of people angry. I didn't pick Fedor to lose to Antonio Silva. I really believed he was probably gonna have enough for Big Foot. He simply was not the Fedor that we had long recognized. I think that we didn't get enough of Fedor in the Werdum fight to get a real accurate gauge on where he was at that point in his career either. I think Dan Henderson has a lot of ways to lose here. As I mentioned, I do believe that the speed and the underrated, unheralded strength of Fedor might come into play. I certainly believe that on the floor Dan Henderson can be submitted. He's been submitted by both Nogueira brothers at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. Fedor certainly no stranger to submissions and obviously a fantastic, dynamic, attacking guard that he has. But provided it stays on the feet, I don't know what to say. I kinda see Fedor gettin' caught. Something along the lines of Kazuyuki Fujita where he's gonna get hurt, and unlike against Fujita, won't be able to come back. I see Dan Henderson winning by stoppage."