What was the best fight in the history of Strikeforce?
You can certainly make a case for Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley, who battled for the promotion's welterweight title back on April 9 in San Diego, California. Just three seconds short of a complete round, both 170-pound warriors did more in the opening stanza than most fighters do inside an entire fight.
Back-and-forth action, knockdowns, edge-of-your-seat drama, "Diaz vs. Daley" had it all.
So too, did Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le, a middleweight title fight that lit up San Jose's "Shark Tank" in March 2008. With the crowd on its feet, "The Legend" was stopped via technical knockout (broken arm) prior to the start of the fourth round.
But those nail-biters have been topped by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson, according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who told media member's during Saturday night's (July 30) post-fight press conference their Showtime main event in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, was "one of the best fights in the history of the company:"
"If you look at that fight, I think it stands right up there. If you look back at the history of Strikeforce, which is relatively a newer company, I think the ones that stand out in my mind are, in our early days, Frank Shamrock fighting Cung Le – that was an unbelievable matchup. And Nick Diaz fighting Paul Daley this year – unbelievable fight. And tonight, I think this one probably tops those two. So arguably one of the best fights in the history of our company. It definitely lived up to the billing, so my hat's off to Fedor and Hendo."
Emelianenko came out swinging for the fences and Henderson answered the call with looping shots of his own. "Hendo" was sent to the floor with a flurry of punches late in the first round, but "The Last Emperor" couldn't finish the job when he had the chance.
And it may have led to his undoing.
After Henderson slipped out from underneath the Russian's blitzkrieg, he landed an "H-Bomb" uppercut that appeared to put Emelianenko completely out cold.
Knocked flat, done.
Fedor protested the stoppage, made with some degree of haste by veteran referee Herb Dean, but after the fight it appeared to be the correct call.
Either way, Henderson comes away with a knockout win and one that is well deserved. And this will easily go down as the best round of the year, probably even better than "Diaz vs. Daley" earlier this year.
That's according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
Anyone out there in MMA land disagree?