If Fedor Loses On Saturday Night, Is It Time To Call It Quits?
On Saturday in Chicago, Strikeforce’s biggest card of the year takes place when living legends Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson square off in a huge fight with major implications on the future of both fighters. But the individual who has more to lose on Saturday night is easily the fighter known as “The Last Emperor.”
For Fedor, the once heralded greatest fighter in the world has seen his universe come crashing down as shocking back-to-back losses have turned him from a fighting machine to a mere mortal. For years, Fedor was considered invincible. He mowed down the competition with his amazing skill set and appeared to be one of the only fighters in the world without a chink in the armor. But when he faced Fabricio Werdum, Fedor ended up being exposed. After knocking down Werdum moments into the fight, Fedor made a mistake following Werdum to the mat as it appeared that the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner sucked the Russian into his trap. A deep triangle and an armbar was slapped on from Werdum’s guard and Fedor shockingly was forced to tapout.
For those that thought the loss was just a mere aberration, Fedor’s next fight against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the first round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament would prove that this was no fluke. The bigger Silva mauled Fedor in the second round of the fight and caused Fedor’s eye to swell shut. The doctor stopped the fight and Fedor was saddled with back to back losses. He tinkered with the concept of retirement but decided to comeback and fight the dangerous former Pride welterweight and middleweight champion and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson.
It’s certainly no gimme for Fedor and in order to gain some kind of retribution, he’s going to have to put on an exceptional performance. While Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker says that Fedor’s legacy won’t be tarnished regardless of whether he wins or loses, everyone knows that this is a must win for Fedor. Henderson possesses one punch knockout power, courtesy of his right hand affectionately called the “H-Bomb.” Henderson is also a great wrestler and will likely come into the fight ready for any and everything that Fedor may throw at him. Regardless of what you think of Fedor today, the former pound for pound top dog has all the tools to win this fight. We just have to see what those two losses have done to his confidence.
If Henderson knocks him out, it will certainly be time for Fedor to call it quits. He’s accomplished so much during his tenure in MMA that there is no reason for him to take further damage trying to reclaim something that he doesn’t have anymore. Who wants to be the Roy Jones, Jr. of MMA? Not Fedor.