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Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson still targeted for July


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Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson and famed heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (31-3 MMA, 1-2 SF) could meet at a late-summer event, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed on Saturday.

However, neither the bout nor the event details have been finalized.

Back in March, Coker told ( that Emelianenko likely would return in July and that there had been "preliminary discussions only" about the Henderson fight.

With the organization moving closer to the non-title fight, a sticking point seems to be at what weight the fight will be contested. According to, Emelianenko prefers a catchweight of 215-220 pounds, though Henderson's camp wants the fight take place in the heavyweight division (meaning 265 pounds would be the maximum weight).

Emelianenko, who spurned a UFC offer to fight for Strikeforce, and Henderson, who left the UFC on a three-fight win streak in 2009, now find themselves fighting for an organization recently acquired by the UFC's parent company. However, Coker told that, as with past Emelianenko fights, the July event would be a co-promotion with M-1 Global, with which the UFC has a rocky relationship.

The July event also could mark Strikeforce's pay-per-view debut.

"We're going to have him fight in July, and we will honor the co-promotion aspect with M-1," Coker said in March. "Nothing changes for them on that front, and it's business as usual."

Emelianenko most recently suffered an upset loss to Antonio Silva in the opening round of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix. Coupled with a loss to Fabricio Werdum this past June, which snapped a 27-fight win streak, Emelianenko briefly considered retirement before the Henderson discussions began.

Henderson recently scored a third-round TKO of Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante to win the Strikeforce belt. The 40-year-old Olympian, a former two-division champ in PRIDE, now has won five of his past six fights.

Henderson recently told Radio the possibility of an Emelianenko fight intrigued him.

"Obviously, he's still one of the top guys out there in the world, and it would be a huge challenge," said Henderson, who's fought in the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions. "It would interest me to go up (in weight)."

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So Fedor has no interest in cutting weight at all? That catchweight he suggested is pretty much what he weighed in at against Silva. Henderson would be a fool to agree to that. Either fight at 205 (like Fedor should have been fighting a long time ago) or fight at HW with a proper 265 pound limit. Not some BS "this is my regular weight" catchweight.

And this is probably a bad fight overall for SF. Now that Zuffa owns it, there is no reason to try to milk views out of Fedor using quasi-fixed freak fights.

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