Fedor Emelianenko returns to action July 30 against Dan Henderson. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
A planned heavyweight contest between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson is now official.
Sherdog.com has confirmed with a source close to the bout that both parties have signed on as the main event for a July 30 Strikeforce event, to take place at the Sears Centre in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Ill. The bout has yet to be officially announced by the promotion, though the fight is expected to be made public shortly.
Strikeforce's reigning light heavyweight champion, Henderson rides a two-fight winning streak into his showdown with Emelianenko. The 40-year-old capitalized on his first-round drubbing of Renato "Babalu" Sobral in December by lifting the 205-pound title from then-champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante in March.
Long considered the top heavyweight on the planet, Emelianenko has fallen on hard times recently, dropping back-to-back bouts for the first time in his career. “The Last Emperor” was first submitted by Fabricio Werdum in June before losing by TKO to Antonio Silva in the quarterfinals of Strikeforce's ongoing eight-man heavyweight grand prix in February.
Also expected for the event is a pair of pivotal light heavyweight conflicts, as submission master Roger Gracie meets former Strikeforce champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, while the aforementioned Cavalcante squares off with former University of Tennessee linebacker Ovince St. Preux.
Additionally, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos looks to rebound from his defeat to Nick Diaz by taking out Belgian-born Team Quest representative Tarec Saffiedine. No bouts have been made official by the promotion as of yet.