Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson Preview & Predictions

Fedor Emelianenko

Previewing the Fedor vs. Henderson fight card

Strikeforce has always done a pretty good job of packaging entertaining and intriguing fights together for their major events on Showtime. They don’t always live up to expectations, but on paper, their main card match-ups are usually capable of piquing your interest.

Tomorrow’s event in suburban Chicago is no different. The five sets of fighters stepping into the cage should produce a few compelling encounters. Where they have historically struggled is in generating preliminary fight that are capable of drawing attention. I don’t want to jinx it, but they’re starting to turn the corner in that regard.

Bryan Humes (6-1) vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones (4-0)

Unbeaten heavyweights are always of interest to me because quality big boy talents are hard to come by in this sport. Though he’s just four fights into his career and remains a project at this stage, Salinas-Jones is definitely someone worth keeping tabs on in the future.

The 26-year-old has earned stoppages in each of his bouts to date. His debut victory over Zak Jensen jumps off the page at anyone who remembers the man Kimbo Slice nicknamed “Linderman” on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. While Jensen is far from a world-beater, he’s a reasonable talent, and Salinas-Jones needed just over two minutes to beat him.

Humes isn’t a pushover by any means. A late cut from TUF 10, he took a big step up in competition for is last fight, graduating from beating unknowns to facing UFC and Strikeforce alum Paul Buentello at Shark Fights 11. He lost a unanimous decision to “The Headhunter” and hasn’t competed since.

The fact that Humes has been out of the cage since May 2010 looms heavily in this fight. More than a year on the sidelines and a string of injuries is tough enough to overcome; it becomes more challenging when your opponent looks like a talented kid coming off a solid win just two months ago.

Derek Brunson (7-0) vs. Lumumba Sayers (4-1)

It really is hard to gauge how talented an up-and-comer is until they’ve set foot on the bigger stage. A three-time Division II All-American, Brunson smashed his way to a 6-0 start while fighting on small east coast show. Not once did he need more than two-and-a-half minutes to finish his opponent, but that can mean many things or it could mean nothing at all.

Brunson splits his training between working with Renzo Gracie and Greg Jackson, so at least you know for sure that he’s going to be well-coached and ready to fight.

Sayers has still yet to see the second round through his first five fights. Matching pairs of wins bookend the lone loss of his career, but like Brunson, it’s hard to get a handle on his true potential at this point.

The guys he’s beaten have a combined record south of something impressive, so it will be interesting to see what the middleweight submission fighter has to offer here.

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