While fanboys across the globe are giddy with anticipation for Saturday’s showdown between MMA icons Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko, Hendo admitted he’s just as anxious as anyone to see what will go down inside the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
“I don’t think Fedor is just another name,” Henderson recently expressed. “It definitely excites me for the opportunity to fight him and I’m ready to go and just waiting to get in there at this point.”
Since rattling off 27 consecutive victories, Emelianenko has dropped two straight scraps and hinted at retirement after getting mauled by Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva this past February. While some have already slammed the door on “The Last Emperor’s” illustrious career, Henderson believes there are simple explanations for Fedor’s recent hiccups.
“I watched both of those fights, and I felt it seemed like against [Fabricio] Werdum he got cocky with his submission defense, thinking he wouldn’t get submitted and everybody can get caught,” Henderson shared. “With Silva, I think he was a little bit out of shape and the size definitely got to him.”
Losing three consecutive scraps typically marks the end of an athlete’s tenure with Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce, but that philosophy clearly doesn’t apply to Emelianenko. Although the 34-year-old won’t be fighting for his job this weekend, Henderson does expect his opponent to come with a much greater sense of urgency.
“I think anybody that has their back to the wall coming off two losses like that is definitely more dangerous, but I think Fedor is going to try and hit me with the same punches he would have tried to hit me with if he had won his last two fights.”
Emelianenko is slightly more than a 2-to-1 favorite to snap the longest losing skid of his career.