Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson Recap
The first fight of the night pitted welterweight Tarec Saffiedine against exciting striker Scott “hands of steel” Smith. Both fighters started light on the feet in the opening round, while exchanging jabs. As the round continued Saffiedine started to utilize the leg kick to keep distance between him and Smith. Halfway through the first Saffiedine caught Smith with a head kick, and tried to follow up with a standing guillotine. This attempt was prevented by Smtih, and the two fighters locked in a clinch. For the remainder of the round Saffiedine continued to work a punch-kick combo on Smith, judges gave Saffiedine the first round, scoring it 10-9. In the second round Saffiedine continued to press on with low kicks that were unanswered by Smith. As the round continued Saffiedine landed a high head kick, and followed by clinching with Smith and landing some tight punches. Halfway through the second round Saffiedine managed to land a kick to the forearm of Smith, and followed up with punches. Smith, while disoriented, shot for a single leg takedown in order to recover. While on one knee, Smith continued to eat punches thrown by Saffiedine, and eventually Saffiedine took his back continuing to throw punches. As the round came to a close Smith was able to get the fight back to a standing position, but continued to be picked apart by Saffiedine’s punching. Judges awarded the second round to Saffiedine, with one judge awarding Saffiedine a 10-8 round. In the final round Saffiedine continued to press on, as he was clearly the fresher fighter. He continued to work the leg kick for the first half of the round, while circling Smith. In the last two minutes of the round Smith started to look for the knockout by throwing looping punches, this effort was negated by Saffiedine landing strait technical punches. Judges award Tarec Saffiedine the third round by a score of 10-9. Judges score the fight 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 awarding Tarec Saffiedine a unanimous decision over Scott Smith.
The second bout of the night also took place in the welterweight division between two exciting fighters Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley. The first round started off with Woodley looking for the leg kick, as both presented a crouching stance. As time continued, Woodley was able to land a leg kick and attempted to score the first takedown of the night, however Daley was able to fend it off as the two fighters ended up in a clinch with Daley’s back against the cage. As time continued Woodley got caught with a low knee to the groin and the fighter separated. The fight was soon continued, with Woodley being able to get the same position before, with Dailey’s back to the cage. Woodley continued to try and earn a takedown, but Dailey showed impressive takedown defence while remaining pinned to the cage. The fighters would continue to trade punches and also remained inside of each other’s clinch. Judges give a narrow round to Woodley scoring it 10-9. In the second round Daley clinched onto Woodley and landed a good knee to the body, but again the fighter ended up clinching onto each other. As the fight continued, Woodley was finally able to secure a single leg takedown. The rest of the round was a wrestling match with Woodley landing some significant strikes inside Daley’s guard. Judges scored this round the same as the first, 10-9 in favour of Woodley. In the final round Daley came out aggressive, but it ultimately cost him as Woodley scored another takedown. The next few minutes were a struggle for Dailey to get back to his feet, and Woodley continued to throw minor strikes from Dailey’s half-guard. As the round continued, Dailey was able to get the fight back to a standing position, and finishing the round with some impressive striking. Judges gave the last round to Dailey, scoring it 10-9, but Woodley was able to secure a win in a 29-28 point fight.
The third fight of the night was an exciting matchup between middleweights Tim Kennedy and Robbie Lawler. That fight starts off with either fighter hesitant to immediately throw a strike, and after a break due to Lawler taking a groin strike the fight continued. Kennedy, in his second attempt, was able to secure his first takedown. After some ground grappling and Kennedy almost securing Lawler’s back, the fight goes to the feet again. At the end of the round Kennedy was able to score another takedown and eventually was able to mount Lawler. The judges score the first round in favour of Kennedy, by a score of 10-9. The second round opened with both fighters throwing minor strikes, and Lawler stopping a takedown attempt by Kennedy. Kennedy was soon able to secure a takedown on his second attempt, but got cut in the process. For the remainder of the second round Kennedy exhibited solid ground and pound, and judges scored the second round 10-9 in favour of Kennedy. The final round was a striking battle between the two, with either fighter being able to land significant strikes. Lawler was able to stop all of Kennedy’s takedowns in the final round, but it was too little too late, as judges gave the final round to Kennedy and the middleweight secured a 30-27 victory.
The co-main event was a Women’s Bantamweight Title fight between champion Marloes Coenen and challenge Miesha Tate. The fight starts off with both fighters landing minor strikes and them reversing each other’s positioning against the cage. As the round continued Tate was able to follow up a combination and secure a takedown. While on the way to the ground Coenen was able to secure a tight guillotine choke, but after much struggle was forced to let it go. The round ended with Tate landing a few ground strikes to Coenen’s mid-section, as Tate is awarded the first round, 10-9. In the second round started off with Tate looking for a takedown, but as the fight continued Coenen was able to apply a body triangle around Tate. The rest of the round saw a struggle for Coenen to be able to secure the choke, while landing strikes to Tate and controlling her back. Judges give Coenen the second round 10-9. The third round saw the two fighter exchanging punches and kicks, before Tate scored another takedown. Tate was unable to capitalize, as Coenen demonstrated a great butterfly and closed guard to avoid damage. The fight briefly got back to a standing position, before Tate secured another takedown. As the round ended, Coenen worked a great butterfly guard and again avoided taking punishment; however Judges score the round in Tate’s favour 10-9. As the fight enters the championship rounds Tate was able secure another takedown, with Coenen attempting another guillotine. Tate managed to get out of the hold and take side control against the cage. As the round continued Coenen tried to reverse the position, but left herself vulnerable. Tate capitalized by securing an arm triangle and was able to make Coenen tap. Miesha Tate becomes the new Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, defeating Marloes Coenen via arm triangle submission.
The main event was an exciting clash between Russian heavyweight Fedor Emeliaenko and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson. The opening round started off with Henderson opening up with a powerful combination that forced Fedor to backpedal. Henderson managed to get Fedor up against the cage and follow up with knees. The two fighters separated and took position at the center of the cage. Fedor was able to land an overhand right that stunned Henderson, and Fedor followed up with a barrage of strikes. The final strike caught Henderson and dropped him to the canvas. Fedor, sensing the end, went in trying to finish the fight. Henderson was able to recover and get behind Fedor by sneaking through Fedor’s armpit. Henderson was able to land an uppercut from his knees that caught Fedor right on the chin. Henderson followed up with more strikes and the referee was forced to step in. Dan Henderson wins via TKO in one of the most exciting first rounds in Strikeforce history.