MMA: Fedor Emelianenko takes on Dan Henderson, but should he retire?

Fedor Emelianenko, called by some the Babe Ruth of mixed martial arts, has fans wondering whether his star has fallen. 

After winning 27 fights in a row, the MMA fighter has lost his last two, according to Yahoo News, leading some to doubts as to whether he can beat Dan Henderson in Saturday's Strikeforce card at the Sears Center in Chicago.

Emelianenko had actually raised the possibility of retiring before instead deciding to take on the two-time Olympic wrestler.

Boxers and other fighters always seem to want to stay in the game even though their coaches and peers tell them it's time to quit -- and often, they suffer a heavy physical toll for it. Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's, might be the most well-known example.

But the L.A. Times' Lance Pugmire reports that Cleveland Clinic researchers want to study 500 boxers and MMA fighters, looking at changes in the brain and searching for signs of damage in the hopes that it will help doctors learn how to treat brain damage.

In the process, doctors may learn enough to tell fighters when they should retire -- even when those fighters feel like they're still going strong.

This could have a real impact: One former fighter told Pugmire he wished he'd tapped out sooner. Read on.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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