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
Emanating from Sears Centre Arena in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman
Estates, Ill., the show will also feature a middleweight bout
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
Shirai and the aforementioned Smith in less than four minutes
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.