Dan Henderson wins by KO

Originally Published: July 31, 2011
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

There was a time, not too long ago, when the thought of Dan Henderson getting in the cage with Fedor Emelianenko would have been unimaginable.

It would have been less imaginable that Henderson would walk out of that cage victorious.

But Emelianenko isn't the same fighter who was proclaimed for many years to be the best mixed martial artist ever.

After losing two straight fights, it wasn't out of the question that Henderson could pull off the greatest win of his illustrious career.

But when Henderson landed a left uppercut at 4:12 of the first round Saturday night in Hoffman Estates, Ill., that rendered Emelianenko helpless, shockwaves were sent through the MMA world.

Henderson handed Emelianenko his third defeat in a row and possibly put him into retirement.

"I've been a huge fan of Fedor's forever," said Henderson, the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion who improved to 28-8. "As a fan of Fedor's, I hope he keeps fighting forever."

But the former Pride heavyweight champion isn't ready to reveal his future plans. After falling to Antonio Silva in February, Emelianenko seriously considered calling it quits.

He left his options open after losing to Henderson, though he felt the fight was stopped prematurely.

"I think [the stoppage] was early," Emelianenko said. "I don't want to say anything bad about the referee, but I think it was early.

"If [retirement is] God's will. If God has it for me, that's what I will do."

Tate dethrones Coenen

Miesha Tate forced Marloes Coenen at 3:03 of the fourth round to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title.

[+] EnlargeMarloes Coenen vs Miesha Tate
Ross Dettman for ESPN.comMiesha Tate, top, gave submission specialist Marloes Coenen a taste of her own medicine.

Tate used her wrestling skills to keep this fight on the ground, where she controlled Coenen most of the time. She won the first and third rounds on the ESPN.com card.

Both fighters began the fourth feeling each other out. But Tate would soon get Coenen against the cage where she was able to take the defending champion to the ground.

It was a gutsy move as Coenen momentarily got Tate in a guillotine. The challenger was able to escape and gain side control.

Tate landed a few punches then jumped over Coenen's hips and into an arm triangle choke. Coenen (19-5-0) was unable to escape and tapped at the 3:03 mark.

"I couldn't have asked for anything better," Tate said after improving to 12-2-0. "Most of her wins are by submission."

The victory sets up a rematch between Tate and former Strikeforce women's welterweight titleholder Sarah Kaufman. In their first bout, Kaufman defeated Tate by unanimous decision in May 2009.

Bloody Kennedy grinds down Lawler

Tim Kennedy was a bloody mess after three rounds in the cage with Robbie Lawler, but he did most of the damage to earn a unanimous decision in a middleweight bout.

[+] EnlargeRobbie Lawler vs Tim Kennedy
Ross Dettman for ESPN.comMaybe he didn't look the part, but Tim Kennedy's superior wrestling skills helped him grind down Robbie Lawler over three rounds.

All three judges scored the fight 30-27. ESPN.com also scored the fight for Kennedy, 30-27.

Kennedy (14-3-0) used his superior wrestling skills to keep Lawler on his back. But during a brief moment on his feet, Kennedy was hit by a Lawler left uppercut in Round 2.

The punch opened a cut on the bridge of Kennedy's nose that caused blood to flow. Kennedy also suffered a cut over his right eye in the round, but neither cut slowed him down.

"He bloodied me up," Kennedy said. "I'm glad the judges can see that this was only blood. The guy hits hard."

Lawler, who has now lost two fights in a row, fell to 18-8-0 with one no contest.

Woodley dominates Daley

Highly touted welterweight Tyron Woodley improved to 9-0-0 with a unanimous decision over veteran Paul Daley. All three judges scored the bout 29-28.

[+] EnlargePaul Daley vs Tyron Woodley
Ross Dettman for ESPN.comTyron Woodley, facing, made sure Paul Daley wouldn't be able to unload his heavy artillery.

The win was impressive for Woodley, but not in the way most would have expected.

A solid wrestler, Woodley struggled to get Daley on the ground often. The few times he was able to get Daley off his feet, Woodley controlled the action. Daley, a hard puncher, could not get his offense on track while standing, where Woodley controlled the distance.

Daley has dropped two fights in a row and saw his record slip to 27-11-2. It is possible that Woodley will be a shot at the vacant Strikeforce 170-pound title.

Saffiedine outstrikes Smith

Tarec Saffiedine connected with punches and kicks in each of the three rounds to keep Scott Smith on defense. Smith never found an answer and came out on the short end of a unanimous decision.

The judges scored this fight 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 for Saffiedine, who improved to 11-3-0. ESPN.com scored it 30-27 for Saffiedine.

Smith fell to 17-9-0 with one no contest.

ALSO SEE