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Negotiations Underway for Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson for Strikeforce July Pay-Per-View

Posted on by Damon Martin

It appears that a Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson super fight is in the works, and likely to take place at the July Strikeforce pay-per-view.

As MMAWeekly.com first reported, Henderson has already been slated for a return to action in July, but as of Saturday he hadn’t been formally offered the fight with Emelianenko.

Sources on Sunday confirmed that Strikeforce officials had first reached out to Emelianenko’s camp at M-1 Global to begin the negotiations to make the fight happen. ESPN.com initially reported the contact with Emelianenko’s camp about the potential of a Henderson fight.

The sticking point in the negotiations comes down to what weight the fight would take place at. Sources in Emelianenko’s camp have confirmed that the fighter is mulling over the idea of possibly dropping down to light heavyweight or doing an undisclosed catchweight bout with Henderson.

The other sticking point is the possibility of the fight airing on Showtime or a pay-per-view broadcast.

MMAWeekly.com first broke the news that Strikeforce was targeting a July date for a pay-per-view broadcast with former light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal facing Roger Gracie on the card.

One other major factor that will push the Emelianenko vs. Henderson fight to happen is the fact that Gegard Mousasi, who was the other fighter in the running to potentially face Henderson, ended up fighting to a draw with late replacement Keith Jardine in their bout at Saturday night’s Strikeforce show in San Diego.

If Mousasi had won, he could have been a possible opponent for Henderson in July as well, but with the fight ending in a draw, that all but eliminates him from contention for now.

If the deal gets done to put Emelianenko in the cage with Henderson, all signs are pointing towards a pay-per-view fight, but nothing is a official at this point.

It could be several weeks before everything is finalized because of the negotiating points that have to be ironed out.

MMAWeekly.com will update the details of a potential Emelianenko vs. Henderson super fight as they become available.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


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  • Frye557

    I read that Henderson wants the match-up to take place at heavyweight. Somewhere between 215-230. I’m really not sure why he would want to fight Fedor at this weight, but I’m hoping Fedor decides to give LHW a try.

    • http://MMAWeekly.com Ken Pishna

      That would be odd that Hendo would want it at that weight, that’s pretty much what Fedor fights at anyway. There are some pretty complicated contractual issues to work out as well, from what I’ve heard.

      But I do like the fight. I’d like to see it take place at 205, but no higher than about 210-215. IMO

      • Frye557

        Yeah I agree with you. I absolutely love this fight. SI.com were the ones who released the info on weight in case you wanted to take a look.

  • elguapo

    Excuse my ignorance but i’m a relatively new MMA fan. Is there a weight limit for HW? I mean if the fight’s not taking place at LHW then why would there need to be a weight limit? Am i thinking in just UFC terms and not MMA terms?

    • Frye557

      In the case of Fedor and Henderson, it would be more of a catch-weight, but since it is above the LHW, it would be termed a HW bout I suppose. The UFC really doesn’t do a lot of catchweight fights (unless the person misses weight), but if I could think of an example it would be James Toney vs Randy Coutoure.

      • Frye557

        Correction: Sorry, the fight between Randy and James was actually a HW bout. It’s more of an agreed upon weight limit that is usually between the respective weight classes of both fighters involved.

  • elguapo

    So they can put on a HW bout but put a limit on weight still? I thought HW was 205+ regardless of how far over that weight you are? Or is the case that this will be non-title therefore they can put whatever limit they like on it?

    • Frye557

      Yeah your right, since it is over 205, it will be considered heavy weight. But what is going to happen is both Fedor and Henderson will agree to fight at a catch-weight. Normally, catch-weights are between two weight classes like WW and MW. So in that case, it would be a catch-weight of 180lbs for example, and therefore not be designated as it’s own weight class. But since heavyweight is anything above 205 like you said, it will be a catch-weight within a weight class. Think of it as a predetermined weight that exists only for this fight (but it just so happens that it is within heavyweight regardless).

  • elguapo

    Cool. Cheers for clearing that up mate. That said, if this fight happens then i hope Fedor takes it. I’d be so disappointed if he’s close to being finished and i never got to enjoy him in his prime. His highlights on youtube are something else. Hendo’s gonna be a real test though. Has Hendo fought at HW before? I know he’s usually a LHW but i’m sure he’s also fought at MW too (when he fought Bisping). That’s some fluctuation in weight.

    • Frye557

      No problem. Yeah he was the Pride MW and LHW champ. He has fought heavyweights before, but he has never truly competed at heavyweight, see his fights with Big Nog and Yvel, etc. If your just getting into MMA and want to see a pretty cool match-up with Fedor, check out his exhibition fight with Shinya Aoki. Aoki is a lightweight who fought last night, it’s more of a grappling match, but it’s pretty cool to see one of the best HWs ever fighting perhaps the best BJJ practitioner in the lightweight division. It’s on youtube if you’re looking for it.

  • ShockednAwed

    I thought there was still a 260-lb. limit for heavyweights – over that, you’d be SuperHeavy, which the UFC don’t have in their class structure… yet. :D

    Otherwise, why would Lesnar have to cut weight before bouts?

    • Frye557

      Yes there is a limit of 265lbs, but I was talking about catch-weights within heavyweight, which is most likely going to happen between Fedor and Henderson. Hendo stated he wanted to fight at 215-230 which is what we have been discussing, not whether or not the UFC has a heavyweight limit.

      • ShockednAwed

        Not to be pedantic, but elguapo said, “Excuse my ignorance but i’m a relatively new MMA fan. Is there a weight limit for HW?”, and you started going on about a catch-weight fight…

        • Frye557

          Read my other posts, I addressed it already. He was wondering why there would be a weight limit to this fight if there is already a HW limit. Hence the discussion of catch-weight, which is what I began discussing the very first comment of this board.

        • Frye557

          Maybe I jumped ahead of the question a little bit, but I was looking at it more like him wondering why there would be a weight limit above 205, not whether or not there are divisions above HW. Either way, I think we have cleared up every question possible about HW weight limits lol.

  • phrankthetank

    Houston Alexander and kimbo was a 215 lb catchweight as well, I have no idea why hendo would want to fight fedor at heavyweight, that’s rough. If fedor wants to stay relevant in the sport, he needs to drop right to LHW. A guy who’s made a career of knocking out heavyweights is a scary thought at 205. This fight needs to happen there

  • wonggfan

    Why is Fedor doing this?

    Why would you want to fight a middle weight when you were a dominant HW Champ for nearly ten years?

    I could see how this is a big draw given that it is Fedor fighting someone that is well known…but…seriously, why are they fighting?

    Fedor’s biggest asset at HW is his speed. And against Hendo I am not sure if he has that. He got clipped by Lindland couple years ago and started bleeding immediately. So not an easy fight for Fedor, although easier than fighting true HWs.

    Hendo has never been dropped and I doubt Fedor can drop him. Maybe submit him by laying on top of him and pulling what he did to Lindland.

    • Frye557

      I honestly think that Fedor would have the speed advantage here. Henderson is definitely more power than speed. I see this ending up in a decision for Fedor, he will pepper him on the feet (because he probably knows it’s near impossible to knock Hendo out) and control him on the ground.

      As far as Fedor fighting at 230, I imagine it has something to do with the contract with Hendo. I doubt Henderson or strikeforce would want him to put his belt on the line for a guy who has lost his last two bouts, and has never even fought at LHW.

      To me, it makes sense in the fact that Fedor won’t be in title contention for a while, at least until the tournament is over, and he wants to regain some of his fans with a good win over a big name (especially in Strikeforce).

      This might even be a chance to test himself against a worldclass LHW before he makes the cut.

      Of course this is all just my speculation, but either way two of my favorite fighters are meeting and it’s going to be a great fight.