Strikeforce ‘Fedor vs. Henderson’ Main Card Set with 5 Fights


Five bouts are now official for Strikeforce/M-1 “Fedor vs. Henderson,” as two rumored welterweight scraps were recently announced by Showtime Sports for the July 30 event.

Completing a main card headlined by the titular heavyweight confrontation between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson, prospects Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine will square off with two of MMA’s hardest-punching welterweights in Paul Daley and Scott Smith, respectively.

Emanating from Sears Centre Arena in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Ill., the show will also feature a middleweight bout between Robbie Lawler and Tim Kennedy, as well as a women’s 135-pound title tilt pitting champion Marloes Coenen against challenger Miesha Tate. The evening’s main card will air live on Showtime.

One of the welterweight division’s most promising prospects, Woodley (Pictured; file photo) was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri before beginning his MMA career in 2009. Undefeated in eight fights, Woodley has emerged victorious in all six of his Strikeforce outings. His last performance occurred in January, when he bested fellow up-and-comer Saffiedine by unanimous decision.

Known for his knockout power, Daley has posted 20 of his 27 career victories by knockout. The Brit recently had a four-fight winning streak snapped when he challenged for Nick Diaz’s Strikeforce welterweight title in April. Prior to that first-round TKO defeat, the 28-year-old had knocked out both Deep champion Yuya Shirai and the aforementioned Smith in less than four minutes combined.

Saffiedine, 24, has yet to be finished in his four years as a pro. The “Sponge” recently had a three-fight winning streak halted by Woodley, as the Team Quest representative suffered his first Strikeforce defeat to the wrestler at Strikeforce Challengers 13. Saffiedine holds half of his career wins by submission and fought twice in Japanese promotion Dream before joining Strikeforce.

Smith is a newcomer to the welterweight division. The former WEC light heavyweight champion, “Hands of Steel” was welcomed rudely to the 170-pound ranks when he was knocked out cold by a Daley left hook in December. Smith is regarded as one of the most durable fighters in the division, though he has been finished a total of seven times in his 10-year pro career.

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