Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dan Henderson Returns to Championship Form With Win Over Feijao in Strikeforce

The last time Dan Henderson fought in Columbus, Ohio was at UFC 82 against Anderson Silva approximately 3 years ago, a fight he lost via rear naked choke. On Saturday he returned to the Buckeye state for another chance at a title against Anderson Silva’s teammate Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.

In the first round, Feijao was able to drop Henderson with a big right hand that sent him to the canvas. Henderson proved once again that his chin may indeed be made of granite and used a powerful takedown to drive Feijao to the canvas and survive on top.

The second round Henderson again used his world class wrestling to grind the champion and it was evident that Feijao was beginning to slow down and fade. Less than a minute into the third round Henderson punched the Brazilian with his classic overhand right that spun Feijao 180 degrees and sent him crashing face first into the canvas. Henderson quickly took back mount and began smashing down right hands until Dan Miragliotta was forced to stop the fight.

At 40 years old, Dan Henderson is the oldest current champion in any of the major organizations but he didn’t look like an old man on Saturday. The biggest question was whom he would face next? It is speculated that he will more than likely face the winner of next month’s Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle bout but he is open to fighting at middleweight making it entirely possible that he could attempt to win two titles in two different divisions simultaneously, a feat he previously accomplished in Pride.

Marloes Coenen vs. Liz Carmouche

Marloes Coenen came into her title defense on Saturday as a big favorite. A bout with Meisha Tate had to be scrapped due to injury leaving Strikeforce to find a suitable opponent two weeks prior to the bout.

Liz Carmouche took the challenge on short notice and came into the bout with a (5-0) record and less than one years experience. On paper it looked like a serious mismatch as Coenen had over 20 fights and 10 years of experience versus her less experienced opponent. However, Carmouche proved to the world that she deserved to be in the cage with Coenen.

Coenen won the first round but the tables turned quickly in the second round when Carmouche survived a guillotine choke and ended up on top. For two rounds Carmouche used dominant positional grappling to get to full mount and use ground and pound to punish the champion but lacked the ability to finish with a submission or technical knock out. Carmouche again reverted to her wrestling in the fourth round but Coenen was able to slap on a triangle choke on the takedown attempt finishing Carmouche showing that she had the heart of champion.

Tim Kennedy vs. Melvin Manhoef

Coming off a very close decision loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in August of last year Tim Kennedy looked to get back on the winning track. Kennedy wanted no part of the Dutch striker’s stand up game and wasted little time exploiting the most obvious of Melvin Manhoef’s weaknesses, his ground game. Once he secured the takedown he gained back mount he locked in a rear naked choke at 3:41 of the first round.

A win in a rubber match between him and Jason “Mayhem” Miller or the dangerous slugger, Robbie Lawler may be in order before Kennedy is given the green light for a rematch with the current Strikeforce middleweight champion, Ronaldo “Jacre” Souza.

Jorge Masvidal vs. Billy Evangelista

Jorge Masvidal used his size and reach advantage to stifle the little offense that Billy Evangelista had to offer. Masvidal stuffed most of Evangelista’s takedown attempts and Evangelista looked sluggish not throwing many punches throughout the first two rounds. It wasn’t until the third round that Evangelista started to get busy on offense realizing that he needed a finish to win the fight. The judges saw the fight (30-27) for Masvidal and Evangelista suffered the first loss of his career. Masvidal is another quality fighter to add to Strikeforce’s already deep lightweight division.

Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson Results

170: John Kuhner def. J.P. Felty – RD 2 – 4:31 – Triangle Choke
185: Mitch Whitesel def. Marc Cofer – RD 1 – 3:55 – Guillotine Choke
185: Brian Rogers def. Ian Rammell – RD 1 – 4:31 – TKO (GNP)
Hwt: Jason Freeman def. Jason Riley – RD 1 – 1:52 - Submission (Strikes)
155: Jorge Gurgel def. Billy Vaughan – RD 1 – 0:44 - Guillotine Choke
170: Roger Bowling def. Josh Thornburg – RD 3 – 5:00 – Unanimous Decision

Main Card:
155: Jorge Masvidal def. Billy Evangelista – RD 3 – 5:00 – Unanimous Decision
185: Tim Kennedy def. Melvin Manhoef – RD 1 – 3:41 – Rear Naked Choke
135: Marloes Coenen def. Liz Carmouche – RD 4 – 1:29 – Triangle Choke
205: Dan Henderson def. Rafael Cavalcante – Rd 3 – TKO (Strikes)

This article first appeared on on 03/07/2011.

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