Fedor and Henderson square off in a non-title heavyweight bout at the Sears Centre Arena in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Ill., at Strikeforce/M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson on Saturday night. Though the bout was originally to be a catchweight of 220 pounds, several weeks ago the fighters agreed to merely fight at heavyweight – with the expectation that Henderson would likely come in around the 206-pound light heavyweight limit and Fedor likely to weigh in around 10 pounds less than his typical 230 pounds.
When they hit the scales Friday at the Sears Centre, each fighter was a little off – Henderson weighed in at 207 pounds; Fedor came in at 223. The two MMA legends took part in a face-off that was far from heated before shaking hands and posing for photos with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and M-1 Global chairman Vadim Finkelstein.
Henderson, the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, and Fedor are both former Pride champions. Though they fought in the Japanese promotion at the same time, the two never fought. Henderson fought at welterweight and middleweight; Fedor was a heavyweight fighter. The fight is considered something of a "superfight" or "fantasy fight," hence the "once in a lifetime" label being put on it in the marketing campaigns.
In the co-main event, women's 135-pound champion Marloes Coenen defends her title for the second time after taking the belt from Sarah Kaufman. In March, Coenen submitted Liz Carmouche in the fourth round after Carmouche dominated the fight for the first three. Coenen, whose Golden Glory teammates in the Netherlands include Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem, weighed in at the 135-pound limit. Her challenger, Miesha Tate, also came in at 135. Despite Tate's layoff of nearly a year since her last fight – she had to pull out of a previously scheduled fight with Coenen and was replaced by Carmouche – she is only a slight underdog against the champion.
Robbie Lawler and Tim Kennedy finally meet Saturday after a fight between the two has been talked about off and on for nearly a year. Had Strikeforce's plans for a one-night, four-man middleweight tournament in Texas last August materialized, Kennedy and Lawler would have been a possible pairing in the finals. But the Texas commission nixed that tournament plan, Kennedy was given a shot at Jake Shields' vacated belt against Jacare Souza and the path between him and Lawler had to wait. Both fighters weighed in on the middleweight button at 185 pounds.
A pair of hard-hitting welterweights who each have had weight-cutting questions hurled at them in recent months both hit their marks on the scales. Paul Daley, who has missed weight in two of his last four fights and three of his last seven, weighed in at 171 for his fight against unbeaten Tyron Woodley, who weighed 170. And Scott Smith, who fights for the second time at 170 pounds after years at middleweight – and light heavyweight before that – tipped the scale at 171 for his fight against Tarec Saffiedine. Saffiedine, who trains in California with Henderson at Team Quest, was 170.
The complete weigh-in results are below:
Fedor Emelianenko (223) vs. Dan Henderson (207)
Marloes Coenen (135) vs. Miesha Tate (135)
Robbie Lawler (185) vs. Tim Kennedy (185)
Paul Daley (171) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
Scott Smith (171) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (170)
Gesias Cavalcante (155) vs. Bobby Green (155)
Eduardo Pamplona (170) vs. Tyler Stinson (171)
Alexis Davis (135) vs. Julie Kedzie (136)
Derek Brunson (186) vs. Lumumba Sayers (184)
Bryan Humes (266) vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones (260)