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Fedor v Henderson; great fight
The fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson was, rightly, hyped to the hilt. Potentially, this was a great fight in the making, both highly experienced, highly skilled and big hitters, great. I fancied Fedor to win this one on points as neither had been knocked out, which is something special in itself seeing as both had over 30 pro fights. A great battle looked on the cards.
I didn’t know the result, Sunday morning, as it took place in the middle of the night so Googled it. I read this analysis first read, which said that Fedor lost in a great slugfest. I can live with that, even though I wanted Fedor to win, and eventually found video of the fight which is embedded below.
I agree with the write up, it was a great fight, but why did the ref stop it? I’ve read elsewhere that Fedor was out but I didn’t see that at all, the replays show that his head was rocked back and he landed heavily BUT, importantly, he was switching position to face Henderson. He was actively defending himself. If that amount of contact is enough to stop a fight it could have been stopped when Fedor downed Henderson moments before. Alternatively, Henderson could have been reprimanded for hitting Fedor in the back of the head just before the fight was stopped.
Early Stoppage or Fix?
At best it was a very premature stoppage at worst it’s a fix. There’s been several iffy stoppages over the years but the context of this one leaves it wide open to fixing. Zuffa now own Strikeforce and given the difficulties Dana White has had in trying to get Fedor to sign for UFC in the past it’s safe to say that White is not keen on Fedor and his management and vice versa. It’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to suppose that Herb Dean was instructed to be favourable toward Henderson. Of course, there is no proof and Dean has been guilty of stopping fights early in the past but the conspiracy theorist in me doesn’t trust Zuffa to be completely above board.
Early stoppages do not suit the ex-Pride fighters, big Nog has struggled in the UFC due to early stoppages and now Fedor has in Strikeforce too. Of course, fighters need to be protected but equally they need to be given a chance to recover and fight on. In Pride they were given these chances time and again. It means fights are more exciting to watch and the really great fighters have a chance to show their mettle.
Recovering when under pressure and turning a fight around is the sign of a great fighter, Fedor has shown this capability on numerous occasions, such as against Randleman, Bret Rogers and Fujita. It is one of the reasons why he is so well regarded in the MMA world. Big Nog too was an expert at getting beaten up until he managed to pull off a submission, stopping fights early handicap these types of fighters and reduce the spectacle. It’s a disgrace.
Farce and Fixing
At worst the sport is in danger of slipping into farce and fixing. This fight may not have been deliberately fixed but the appointment of a ref known to stop fights early in this contest was at least poor or simply part of the fixing process. I’m not impressed and feel cheated of another two rounds of a great battle between two great fighters. Zuffa need to sort this out otherwise there is a danger that MMA will sink into the farce of wrestling.
I loved the wrestling as a kid, I used to watch it with my Gran, and I can see why it is now called Sport Entertainment because it never was anything other than that. The video below should serve as a warning to Zuffa and the MMA world we want real fights not fixed crap like this.
Now I may be going over the top a bit here but the lacklustre performances we’ve seen at times in the UFC and early stoppages lend credence to this thinking. SO come one Zuffa let us see the match ups we want, which they are very good at arranging, but lets keep the fights going we want to see the great comebacks it’s part of the whole and gives entertaining fighters like Fedor, and Henderson for that matter a chance.
Originally posted 2011-08-01 11:55:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter