August 03, 2009
Well. This certainly changes things, doesn't it? Fedor Emelianenko, the number two fighter in Yahoo's pound-for-pound rankings, and the subject of contentious negotiations with the UFC, has now signed with Strikeforce. From the Strikeforce press release:
“I am looking forward to going back to work and fighting at the highest level," said the 33-year-old Emelianenko. During his nine year professional fight career, which included a four and a half year stay with the world’s former top MMA promotion, the now defunct PRIDE Fighting Championship, the Russian native has faced and defeated all comers.
The good: Fedor will fight soon, and he will fight on Showtime, more widely available to average American MMA fans than a pay-per-view. This will definitely bolster Strikeforce's reputation as a promotion as their willingness to co-promote with M-1 means that they beat out the UFC on getting Fedor. Co-promotion was a sticking point with Fedor and the UFC, as the UFC was willing to give Fedor every demand except for that one. This could also help Strikeforce attract up-and-coming heavyweights, as it seems everyone wants a shot at Fedor.
The bad: In Strikeforce, Fedor will likely face Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum or Brett Rogers. As an MMA fan, I know that they are formidable opponents. But those names do nothing to rouse the interest of a casual fan, and any fight that Strikeforce can make will not get anywhere near the buzz as Fedor vs. Brock Lesnar would have.
Posted Jun 28 2012
Posted Jun 26 2012
Posted Jun 25 2012