Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010
Henderson and Sobral Talk December 4th Rematch
By FCF Staff; photos courtesy Strikeforce
On December 4th, Dan Henderson and Rento “Babalu” Sobral will fight for the second time since the two first fought in February, 2000. Henderson worked his way to a decision win back then; what happens at the Scottrade Center in just over two weeks, remains to be seen. (Pictured left: Henderson)
Henderson (25-8) hasn’t fought since April, when he lost to former middleweight champion Jake Shields by unanimous decision. The bout was Henderson’s first under the Strikeforce banner.
Sobral (36-8) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Robbie Lawler, after losing the Strikeforce light-heavyweight belt to Gegard Mousasi last August.
In anticipation of the Strikeforce event, the promotion held a teleconference call this week with both accomplished fighters. Here is some of what Henderson and Sobral had to say about their upcoming rematch.
Q: Were weight cut and the fatigue what contributed to your previous performance? Was there any hesitation to fight Babalu?
Henderson: “It’s hard to say for sure, but knowing the condition I was in. I just didn’t have the energy I should have had. Halfway through the first round I was so tired and with my conditioning there is no reason I was so tired. Babalu is not close to the same style as Jake Shields. He has an exciting style and he is well-rounded. He has not had a problem standing up and trading punches. He throws a lot of kicks and obviously submits a lot of guys here and there but they are two totally different styles as far as I am concerned.”
Q: Has changing weight made a big difference in preparing for the fight? Has being older made the jump in weight difficult?
Henderson: “I have always felt comfortable at 205. I have never felt weak or out-powered. I can eat a good meal the night before the fight. It means it’s one less thing I need to worry about before the fight. I am hanging out at 203, 204. I don’t think the age is an issue, just trying to get smarter with my training and making sure I am really listening to my body and getting enough rest. “
Q: Is 205 your weight from now on?
Babalu: “As I said before, it is up to the matchup. Just give me a good fight and I will fight at that weight.”
Q: When you fought Robbie Lawler, you showed improvement in your stand-up game. Does being at 205 make you stronger?
Babalu: “I just decided to finish him on the ground because I had the opportunity but if I could finish the fight with a punch in the face I would do it. The secret to MMA is submit him and don’t get hurt, that’s about it.”
Q: Dan, you said there were other issues happening in your life prior to the last fight. How does that impact your mindset going into a fight?
Henderson: “I have always been one to always focus on the positives. I try to put the negatives out of my mind. It’s tough to do and I felt I could still pull through and handle the fight just fine but I kind of got a little tired in the process. It’s the way it goes sometimes. I tried to pull through and I learned from mistakes, but it won’t happen in the future. I have been focused on making sure my body feels good for this fight.”
Q: Watching your fights you have a lot of power in your hands and it seems like you are willing to take three or four shots from another guy as long as you get off your one shot. Is that the strategy you usually have or does it depend on the fighter? Do you make any adjustments based on Babalu’s stand-up style or are you pretty confident in your striking power?
Henderson: “That is obviously something that has helped me finish fights in the past, and one of the things that makes me dangerous. I usually try not to get hit but in the process sometimes that happens. I am pretty confident on my feet with most people, and I am pretty confident that Babalu and I will be striking a lot as well as being on our feet. It will be a true MMA fight.”
Q: You have a good ground game and striking, but is there anything you are doing different for a guy who might be harder to get to a mat?
Babalu: “I wrestle myself and Dan is a good wrestler as well. I have been training a lot in wrestling but I am very confident.”
Q: Dan, what is the key to winning the fight?
Henderson: Conditioning. And I have enough experience in all the different aspects of MMA and where the fight can go, so I am confident anywhere. I just need to make sure the conditioning is there.”
Q: Babalu, what is the key to winning fight?
Babalu: “Conditioning is always a big thing. I have been working on my technical drills, and looking at video.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 12:17 pm