With all the recent drama about Alistair Overeem and the September Strikeforce event, one of the summer's most anticipated fights has drifted slightly to the backburner.
Things will heat up today (July 21, 2011) as Strikeforce will hold a star-studded conference call at 1 p.m. ET with the all four headlining fighters of its upcoming July 30th event, Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" in Chicago.
In attendance will be be main-eventers Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson who will be meeting in a special heavyweight attraction. Henderson is the current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and he'll be bumping up in weight to take on the Russian Emelianenko, widely considered the greatest heavyweight in MMA history.
Also on the call will be Strikeforce women's 135 pound champion Marloes Coenen and her challenger Miesha Tate. Tate was expected to fight for the title this past March but was forced to back out on late notice with a knee injury. She's back to settle some unfinished business.
MMAmania.com will deliver up-to-the-second live updates of the special conference call which also includes Strikeforce President Scott Coker after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. eastern time, it officially got to a start at 1:20 p.m.
oh boy, no Fedor just yet. Must be the cause for the delay.
Dan Henderson: I plan on coming in at 206 pounds. I don't feel small out there. I plan on being able to move him around.
Scott Coker confirms Daniel Cormier as the Alistair Overeem replacement for September 10th. He says that they couldn't delay the event.
Miesha Tate: I just felt Dana White isn't informed enough to know about women's MMA to comment on it at this point. To me, it's really extra motivation. It's exciting because now I'll have that opportunity to show Dana what women's MMA is all about and what he's been missing in the UFC. I'm hoping Marloes and I put on a great performance.
Dan Henderson: I don't know if Fedor fears me at all. He probably shouldn't if he's in there wanting to win. We're both dangerous and need to be careful out there. I'm not afraid of him and I'm sure he's not afraid of me.
Dan Henderson: I watched both of Fedor's last fights. I felt like against Werdum he got a little cocky with his submission defense, thinking he wouldn't get submitted and everybody can get caught I guess. With Silva, I thought he was a little bit out of shape and his size definitely got to him. Silva hung out on top of him and didn't let him move that whole second round. I think, no matter if he's in shape or out of shape, he's still really dangerous.
Dan Henderson: I think anybody that has their back to the wall and coming off two losses like that is definitely more dangerous. I think he'll still be trying to hit me with the same punches as if he won his last two fights.
1:30 pm still no Fedor.
Scott Coker: I don't think Fedor's legacy has been tarnished at all. Losses are going to happen. He fought some really good guys. Fabricio is an amazing jiu-jitsu master and Bigfoot Silva is a giant. He fought guys that are really good and you can't take that away from the other guys or Fedor. He'll come out here hungry and he'll be looking for Dan and Dan will be looking for Fedor. I think it will be an amazing fight.
Dan Henderson: We'll find out who has the best right hand in a little over a week.
Miesha Tate: I think ring rust is more of a mental thing than anything. It hasn't been a year since I've fought. I do that on a daily basis with men in the gym. For me, it's about getting back in there and it's exciting for me. My knee, it took me between 4-6 weeks to get through physical therapy but I did exactly what I was supposed to do, lots of ice, rest and elevation and I've been working really hard. I've had my eyes on Marloes for over a year.
Dan Henderson: It definitely excites me, having the opportunity to fight Fedor. I'm just waiting to get in there at this point.
Scott Coker does not confirm whether the Carmouche/Kaufman winner will get a title shot but says he'll be keeping an eye on it.
1:40 p.m. Fedor is on the line!
Fedor Emelianenko: It would be a very important victory. Dan Henderson has been a fighter for a very long time and been a champion in many different organizations. A victory would mean a lot to me.
Fedor Emelianenko: It's important to be champion again. It's something I would like to achieve again. It's very important to be the master of my sport.
Fedor Emelianenko: I prepared and trained just as I have before. I did nothing specifically for Dan Henderson.
Miesha Tate: I don't think Marloes' size will be a big factor. I've put on some weight myself and even if I am smaller, speed kills. If she has a big weight cut that could play into her performance. We'll have to see. I don't think it would be too big of a deal.
Marloes Coenen: I'm not doing anything different to train for Miesha. We adjust small details.
Dan Henderson: I'm going to utilize my wrestling in the clinch and take him down if I need to. I'm looking forward to being able to stand and bang with him also.
Fedor Emelianenko: I'm not thinking about any wins or losses or whether I'm going to lose. I'm not thinking about any particular opponents in the future or what might be. I'm only thinking about this fight.
Dan Henderson: I'm not too worried about the UFC. I'd like to defend my belt in Strikeforce and fulfill my contract.
Fedor Emelianenko: The loss hasn't affect my confidence at all. I will go down the path god has set for my life and be confident in that.
Fedor Emelianenko: Everything will be known about retirement after the fight.
Dan Henderson confirms this is the last fight on his current contract.
Dan Henderson: Regardless of whether this is the last fight or first fight on my contract, I'm always trying to go out there and be exciting and finish fights. That's what's got me where I am, going out there and trying to finish fights.
Fedor has been asked about retiring like four different times and he says "it's god's will" every time. Lost cause people, move on.
Marloes Coenen: Women have become stronger and more technical. Back in the day you could fight people that were 50 pounds heavier than you are. I'm glad we are part of the Zuffa family so we can showcase our skills for a really big audience.
Fedor Emelianenko: It doesn't matter to me whether or not I fight under Zuffa or not. The main thing is that the fans of the sport see both of us fight and see the best fighters fight.
Fedor Emelianenko: I'm not sure what I'll weigh on the day of the weigh in. Maybe similar to what I've weighed before, maybe slightly lower because I've been training really hard. I estimate 100 kilograms (220 pounds)
That concludes today's conference call.