• Strikeforce: Emelianenko v Henderson

Henderson won't rely on H-bomb against Fedor

ESPN staff
July 26, 2011
Dan Henderson will look to grind Feder Emelianenko down when the pair meet on Saturday © Getty Images

Dan Henderson has hinted that he will play the long game when he collides with Fedor Emelianenko this weekend.

Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Henderson is the underdog going into his blockbuster clash with Emelianenko, who will carry a significant weight advantage with the fight taking place at heavyweight.

Henderson is the man coming off two consecutive wins on July 30, while Emelianenko needs to snap a two-fight losing streak. The once-unbeatable Russian is rapidly losing his aura at the age of 34, but Hendo has spent most of his MMA career watching Emelianenko find ways to win.

"Obviously Fedor is real dangerous whether he's in shape or out of shape - I've seen him where he's really out of shape and he still knocks guys out or pulls through and win the fights," Henderson told ESPN.

"As far as his two losses, it might diminish it a little bit, but it probably re-motivated him to where he's going to come in in shape and that's the Fedor I want to fight."

Henderson might be expected to come in looking to land his big right hand against an opponent who has some exceptional submissions, not to mention a sharp stand-up game, but it appears the former UFC fighter is planning a different line of attack.

Emelianenko's last fight saw him get worn down and beaten up by Antonio Silva, who forced a doctor stoppage with some serious ground-and-pound. Henderson has seen that fight, and it seems he isn't planning a quick finish on Saturday.

"He's going to be a little more mobile bouncing around and a little more offensive that first round," Henderson said when asked about a quick start. "I just need to implement my gameplan and wear him out at the same time, especially in that first round … that first round is going to be crucial."

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