The Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson event taking place in Chicago, Illinois, this weekend is a very good card with a couple of meaningful fights in the grand scheme of things. I’d like to highlight a few questions going into the event along with commentary on each:
- What’s next for Fedor Emelianenko after this fight with Dan Henderson?
It all depends on if he wins or loses this fight. I agree with Dana White that it’s a lose-lose situation for Fedor. I don’t see anything good coming out of it for him unless he just runs through Dan Henderson which is highly unlikely. If he manages to win a close decision, well he just beat someone that fights in a smaller weight class. If he loses, he just lost someone that fights in a smaller weight class and his career would essentially be over at that point. It would be very difficult to rehabilitate his image as one of the best heavyweights in the world even though Dan Henderson is one of the best fighters in the world in his own right. If he manages to win, he would at least give him another fight in which people would probably tune in to watch. However, with three losses in a row he may as well wonder off into the blue here yonder.
- Can the winner of Marloes Coenen/Miesha Tate influence Zuffa to keep women’s MMA around?
I would say probably not at this point. Dana White’s stance is that there are not enough talented females in the sport to form divisions. I disagree with that in that they have not attempted to create any women’s divisions. There are talented females out there, it’s just a matter of publically stating that you want to embrace women’s MMA. The fighters would come, and it’s not like they would have to have events featuring only women. Both Tate and Coenen are marketable in that they have skills, embrace their feminine side, and have the ability to articulate well in English. Tate has another plus in that she’s only 24 years old, so it’ll be interesting to see how this fight plays out. I don’t expect it to be jump out of your seat exciting with the style contrast, but maybe it’ll be enough to make White and company think longer about the subject?
- Is Tyron Woodley ready for this jump up in competition against Paul Daley?
I had a long conversation with a fighter today in which we debated this very subject. I think Woodley has the skills to win, but Daley does have a significant advantage in experience as I pointed out in my preview. This is an important fight in that if Woodley wins, he would position himself to possibly earn a chance to become the Strikeforce welterweight champion since Nick Diaz vacated the title to move to the UFC. Woodley is in his physical prime and is improving every fight. Could he eventually become a top 5 welterweight by this time next year if he wins this weekend?