Chuck Mindenhall’s pick: Dan Henderson versus Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce, July 30, 2011 in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
In talking about Henderson and Rua’s five-round war, we forget about the member’s club entertainment that went on with Henderson-Fedor back in July. There was a romantic context to this one similar to Henderson’s UFC 139 battle with Rua; he and Emelianenko were longtime parallel champions in Pride who’d never had the inclination (publicly) to smash one another. Strikeforce dubbed it a heavyweight superfight — neither man had ever been knocked out, and yet both had stupidly powerful right hands. Hendo barely made the heavyweight minimum, while Fedor looked in the best shape of his life.
When the bell rang, Emelianenko came out swinging. Henderson, always cooperative for this kind of request, dropped his head and swung back. It was a manic first minute. After some long moments in a Greco clinch, when they separated Emelianenko dropped Henderson with a left uppercut/overhand right combo and jumped on him in a heap. Fedor rained down the would-be finishing punches that ended up lulling the eye a little bit, as Henderson was very quietly grabbing onto Emelianenko’s right leg and executing his escape.
What happened next was the sneakiest turn of events of the year; while he slipped out the hatch Henderson threw a right uppercut through Fedor’s armpit that knocked him out. The follow-up right hand woke him back up, but it was too late as Herb Dean jumped in there and signalled the copter. This all happened in the space of ten seconds. When asked what he called the move afterwards, Henderson said very simply, “wrestling” — his answer as terse as the sequence. It was the first time Emelianenko had ever knocked out, and it added to Henderson’s lore.
Original Source: http://espn.go.com/mma/