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‘Strikeforce: Fedor vs Henderson’ Aftermath: Captains of a Sinking Ship

The Hendo Alarm Clock ($19.95): Guaranteed to wake you up from the deepest of sleeps. (Pic:

Waking up this morning I had no idea of the war being waged in comment sections and MMA forums throughout the night. I should have expected it, really, given the inexplicable fervor with which fans both exalt and denounce Fedor Emelianenko. My two cents on the stoppage: Dan Henderson hit Fedor with several full-force, illegal punches to the back of the head. They were to the back of the head because Fedor’s face was buried in the canvas. They were full-force force because Fedor’s arms lied limply at his sides, gently tucked below his slightly-less-chubby-than-usual torso. We can argue about “The Last Emperor” recovering and rolling over as Henderson was waived off, but there’s no debating what led referee Herb Dean to step in. Watch it in slow motion, watch it a lot.

That’s all the time I’ll devote to the main event; both men’s legacies were built long before they entered Hoffman Estates, and what transpired last night did little to change that. The real story is what’s ahead for last night’s winners and losers, and where Strikeforce as an organization is headed.

Dan Henderson picked up what he considers to be his greatest victory ever last night, but beyond the added notch in his win-column he may not have much reason to celebrate. The Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion completed his contract with last night’s match, and though a champion sitting down at the negotiation table on the heels of a dramatic win should hold a fair amount of bargaining power, there’s no doubt he’s in store for a sizable pay cut. Zuffa previously released him quite simply because they didn’t feel he was worth the money he demanded. It’s true that he wasn’t a champion at that time, but he was in an organization that values their champions.

Having a belt in Strikeforce means very little these days. You’ve got champions getting cut, champions walking away, and champions begging for a fucking fight. Never has the UFC been in such a position, but that’s because the UFC plans to grow as an organization. Strikeforce has no such plans, so Henderson’s value to the promotion is limited. If he returns, he’ll do so for a much smaller payday. As for Fedor, his stock has dropped incredibly following his third straight defeat. Dana insists he was never that good to begin with, and it’s hard to imagine that opinion changed last night. Were he under a standard contract making standard pay, he might be kept around for name value alone, but with his M1-Strikeforce-Showtime contract menage-a-trios, you can pretty much assume that this is the last time he’ll be raiding the Strikeforce coffers.

Miesha Tate snatched the belt from Marloes Coenen in dramatic, unlikely fashion on the sport’s biggest gender-neutral stage, but even in celebration she must be questioning how many acts are left in this play. Dana White is adamant that there simply aren’t enough capable female fighters to sustain a truly competitive division. Whatever momentum had been built by Carano’s beauty and Cyborg’s beast was stalled by their lengthy absence from the cage. That doesn’t mean Strikeforce can’t still make some compelling match-ups, but sporadic female fights don’t equal active female divisions. Marloes Coenen and Miesha Tate will both have long careers in the sport, but where they’ll be fighting when Zuffa finishes its gradual digestion of Strikeforce is anyone’s guess.

If you’re keeping score at home: Overeem’s gone. Diaz has jumped to the UFC. Cyborg hasn’t fought in over a year and Gina in over two. This is likely Fedor’s last fight and Henderson isn’t sure to return either. I hope a lot of fighters from the Challengers series are ready to move up, because Strikeforce’s greatest assets are moving on.

Full results (via

Dan Henderson def. Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:12
Miesha Tate def. Marloes Coenen via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 4, 3:03 (to become new women’s bantamweight champion)
Tim Kennedy def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tyron Woodley def. Paul Daley via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tarec Saffiedine def. Scott Smith via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Gesias Cavalcante def. Bobby Green via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tyler Stinson def. Eduardo Pamplona via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:15
Alexis Davis def. Julie Kedzie via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Derek Brunson def. Lumumba Sayers via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:33
Gabriel Salinas-Jones def. Bryan Humes via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 3, 1:19

Cagepotato Comments

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SciaticNervePain- November 23, 2011 at 11:34 pm
Miesha’s ass jiggling, tits being squeezed together and groped by marloes, and camel toe made it difficult to pay attention to the fight. Instead of “oh did you see that takedown?” it was “did you see that? Did you see that ass jiggling all over when she did that? hold on I’ll rewind it”.
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ajaykumar- September 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm
Sorry, i watched live on Showtime. but yes, it was a very solid puffed puss ground fight. Pretty sure others might have screen captures, i do not.
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RSparrow- August 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Were you on Ambien when you wrote your UFC "A" and "B" synopsis?
ghostboner- August 1, 2011 at 10:35 am
Would still like to see Hendo defend the belt against Mo Lawal. Would be a good fight. Mo couldn't hump and grind on Hendo like he did Mooseassey, and with his quickness I give him a decent shot at beating Hendo on the feet. Give Hendo his requested 1billion doillars and make it happen!
ghostboner- August 1, 2011 at 10:23 am
Is menage a trios Canadian for menage a trois?
Gobbleston- August 1, 2011 at 9:25 am
I'm not going to say Fedor wasn't taking some hard shots, and honestly, I don't even know about the back of the head talk, but what I'm shocked to hear nobody mention is the pelvis thrust Hendo pushed "in" after/during the first hit. It was a good shot that likely wobbled him a bit, but Fedor was face planted by a (likely) tiny steroid affected penis. People who are "out" do not roll over instantly, and Hendo was not letting him up from the stoppage when he rolled over. As for the flailing arms, you can see he is trying to adjust them under the weigh of his Pooh-Bear self, and Hendo, to push himself up or over. I do agree that his style lately hasn't been the best approach to fighting the modern MMA fighter, and he should go back to his Sambo roots. I expected a submission from Fedor. That's how he's beaten every other wrestler.
slummy- August 1, 2011 at 8:29 am
Even after watching the gif I still think the stoppage was early.
WarpedAcorn- August 1, 2011 at 7:52 am
Regarding the Strikeforce Champion Situation: Business as usual (tm). /trollface
ccman- August 1, 2011 at 7:33 am
Have to agree with antfarm on this one, Lesner was active and never showed any sign of being out. Edgar was at all times scrambling, which is the fight i have to assume you are refering, he never fought griffin. Fedor was out (look for the side camera angle showing what Herb saw, eyes closed, hands at side and flat)i do not see the situations comparable at all.
ArmFarmer- August 1, 2011 at 7:03 am
How does Carwin/Lesnar compare? Lesnar actively defended the entire time, he was blocking punchs, kicking Carwen off of him. Lesnar was never ko'd, never went limp, never faceplanted, and never stopped defending himself.
halfbreed23- August 1, 2011 at 4:42 am
"Watch it in slow motion, watch it a lot."

That's the problem. When you watch it in slow motion he appears planted to the floor. When you watch it regular time his inaction is less than 1 second. How many fights would have been stopped under similar circumstances? Carwin/Lesnar? Maynard-Griffin?

I understand the stoppage but ultimately the fight should have continued.
XENOPHON- July 31, 2011 at 11:47 pm
@intercept440 & ArmFarmer

Hummm I appreciate the tips.

I passed Freaknomics in the book store just the other day but decided to drop $100 bones on a rare 3 disk Jap flick about Miyamoto Musashi (sp?) instead.

I've been to Japan twice, yet I don't know much about Sumo. I will make it point to follow the advice as I re-consider the off the changes I suggested.

Possibly I am all fucked up, but from what I have experienced most all fighting is business - and most all business is corrupt at some level.

When living in Thailand I spent quite a bit of time at the Muay Thai pits. One fine establish in Pattaya Beach had 5 rings with concurrent fights all night. If you have never been or heard of it, check it out.

The only thing that was better than the local matches was the 500:1 ratio of hookers to customers and the cheap whiskey. I hear twin-sister strippers are cheaper by the dozen. GRIN

Your points are well taken as I don't know what was shadier. The hookers with adams-apples or the fighters pocketing cash from the bookies as they entered the ring?

Absent the book purchase, I have a Netflix account and will give it a look tomorrow night for sure, thanks.
via. saku buttspank submission- July 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm
As a final note,i'd like to say that Dan showed me something special last night.With a balanced diet of testosterone replacement therapy, illegal blows to the back of the head, and early referee stoppages, any old bastard can beat Fedor.
Todd M- July 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm
Good article, sums up the situation
ArmFarmer- July 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm
And yes that sumo shit is shady as hell, that was messed up how they beat that one dude to death and nobody did anything about it.
ArmFarmer- July 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm
I watched freakonomics it's on netflix instant stream. Interesting shit, I liked it a lot.
RaginAsian- July 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm
Plenty of female talent out there, but Bellator has most of it because they built their divisions around more than two women. If Dana lets them all go, I'm sure Bjorn will be happy to pick them up.
intercept440- July 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm
@xenon , what your describing sounds like a mirror image of jap sumo wrestling. which is so fucking rigged its insane, that would be a disaster i think for the ufc. go read that freakonomics book that numbers cruncher dude wrote. it would make the system fucked up i think for ufc.

just my two cents though
intercept440- July 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm
look, hendo is good , but theres a reason he is in strikeforce now, that simply being he wanted to much cash, the ufc said "look guy, your good, but just because you knock of spitsbing doesnt make you billy badass, then he went to SF dropped one to shields then beat up bablu and calvantecate or something then fedor. remeber he already got beat by rampage and silva spanning two divisions in the ufc add the loss from shieldzzzzz in SF and he's lost to three top tier guys (although shieldzzzz in my view is just a blanket he is highly ranked in the system s of ranking.)
IF he does end back in the ufc , i can Guarenteee he will indeed be taking a pay cut, he isnt going to get andersilva of brock lesnar money
Cro mag- July 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm
Hendo not selling fights is solely because the fans in the States have their heads tightly shoved up their asses. Every American male should be aspiring to be half as tough and skilled as Dan Henderson, even though he's at the end of his career in the cage. Who's the next generation going to look up to, a bunch of Brazilians and a cocky black guy? That's lame as shit.
Spitting into the wind- July 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm
Personally I thought that was one of the most boring cards I have watched in a long while. Also thought the main event stoppage was poor. He may have been out for a fraction but he had recovered. Either way, terribly disappointing night of fights.
Whats the point of keeping Strikeforce around if the standard is so poor outside of the main event. If these guys want to get a chance to move to the big show they have to stop all the wrestlefucking. Quite enough of that goes on already in the UFC.
XENOPHON- July 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm
@ ArmFarmer

Yes, StrikeFarce seems to soon be but a shell. Top talent is heading to the big lights, and straight into the White wolf wearing sheepskins lair - liar?

I am already anticipating that as StrikeFarce talent is picked over, which will get a pass, and which will be sent knocking on the Bellator door.

Here is an idea for the UFC...with nearly all the top talent in as many divisions locked up, the fact is their are too many fighters in each division. I am tired of seeing the same people jostle, play safe, or lay and pray for each division belt.

Why not change it up a bit and at the same time make it better. Instead of shitcanning those that talk back, or those who drop 3 fights keep them all.

Split the UFC up into a much better and bigger structure. Keep the current UFC as the International best. Call it UFC "A" of you want. Thin it, and glomb the less performing with the left overs along with the up and comers from PRIDE, WEC, StrikeFarce and otherz...

Have a UFC "B" that is regionally facing.

North America
South America

The UFC "A" would include only 13 men or women. Each of these 13 (or 11) individuals would be fairly proportional from the regional which supply them, and in total there would be between 77 and 91 fighters excluding women.

UFC "A" cards including championship fights from UFC "B" and the "Women's" component could or would back fill for the UFC "A" pay-per-view.

Standings in the UFC "A" would simplified by a win's to loss ratio, period. All fights here would be title fights or fan driven catch weight fights. This would help salvage the discontent with both fighters and fans over injuries or step overs.

UFC "B" would be structured to use either a 'Win vs. Loss' ratio, and alternatively stacked based on accumulated points-per round-fight history when two or more fighters had an identical win's to lose ratio.

Forcing the "total points" as an integral part of ones permanent record forces the fighters who "lay-and-pray" and the training camps that instill the "play it safe" tactic to either step-up and commit to action, or risk being knocked farther down the ladder and less of a chance of recognition and ranking escalation.

If a UFC "A" fighter's record was eclipsed or in jeopardy from a UFC "B" fighter, the UFC "A" could either make it part of the monthly pay-per-view offerings, or force the fighter in risk, to defend his standing in their region division.

These challenges are free or pay-per-view, or broadcast in the soon to be announced UFC television channel.

UFC "TUF" would, could, and should continue as a medium to bring in new talent, and salvage those that have for any reason faltered or ran into a career slump.

No UFC "A" fighter would be allowed to were pink, unless they could prove during weigh-ins that they had a vagina.

UFC "B" fighters should be mandated to organize and unionize. This removes the fight pay discrepancies all to common and all to often despised. At the same time, it would allow an individual committed to the art of mixed martial arts the ability to earn a fair wage as they hone their skills, talent, technique, and records.

In one fell swoop allowing fighters to organize legitimizes the career and removes all kinds of headaches and problems that management is forced to deal with.

Acceptance of UFC "A" ranking immediately removes union protections, and forces by default a negotiation for pay. Lets face it, as it is now the UFC only really pays the top talent anyway.

All other catch weight and regional bouts would also allow for pay negotiations to commence. Also catch weight matches force fighters to master warfare from all angles: short, tall, skinny, fat, and size.

MMA people have been lulled into the Boxers mindset that a fight is not fair, unless the two fighters weigh the same. This is bullshit think, yet for title fights it makes sense. For practitioners of hand-to-hand combat, to be tough one must take on all comers, period.

Catch weight fights should be more frequent, and they should be promoted. It's a waste of time and talent to let a fighter stand idle because at the last minute his opponent became injured. Such matches can be used as a management plug, and would not affect one's standing in weight class.

It's a first pass, but if you have a better idea, pop tall. Lets hear it.
Dirt- July 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Caption Of The Year!
Cup Cheick- July 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm
Karma I am pretty sure the hype train derailed a long time ago..
Your Dumb- July 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm
The stoppage was God's will.