Once widely considered to be the greatest fighter in all of mixed
martial arts, Fedor
Emelianenko has now lost three straight bouts for the first
time in his storied career.
Emelianenko’s latest defeat came Saturday night at the hands of
Henderson in the titular main event of Strikeforce
co-promoted card at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Recovering from a series of blows courtesy of his heavier foe,
Henderson quickly turned the tables and seemed to turn out
Emelianenko’s lights with a short uppercut that slid under the
Referee Herb Dean
quickly jumped in to stop the contest, a fact with which
Emelianenko (Pictured; file photo) took issue afterward.
“I think [the stoppage] was early. I don’t want to say anything bad
about the referee or anything, but it seems to me it was early,”
Emelianko said in his post-fight interview. “I was clearly hit, but
I wasn’t hit flush and directly. I think I could have continued,
but the referee decided to stop it.”
The finish came only minutes after a furious exchange to begin the
contest. Henderson took the initiative early, countering
Emelianenko’s aggression by landing a sharp left hook and pressing
“The Last Emperor” against the cage.
The Russian recovered, however, and Emelianenko returned fire by
stunning Henderson with a flurry of blows that dropped the
American. Emelianenko pounced to finish the job, but the wily
Henderson managed a slick escape. Grabbing a leg and sliding out
the back door, Henderson soon found himself behind his foe. The
American seized the opportunity, cracking Emelianenko with a short
uppercut that crumpled the former Pride Fighting Championships
The loss to Henderson marks the Russian’s third defeat since June
2010 after compiling a nine-year undefeated streak. Losses to
Silva and now Henderson have some calling for Emelianenko to
hang up the gloves and call it a career. Even Fedor himself hinted
at retirement following his February loss to Silva in the
quarterfinals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix.
However, following his defeat on Saturday night, Emelianenko was
not as revealing, instead opting to issue a familiar response in
regard to his uncertain fighting future.
“It’s God’s will if I will fight again. [I] thank God for