Strikeforce has just announced that WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will be making his debut with the organization on November 7th against undefeated Brett Rogers on CBS. “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” will mark the first time that MMA’s Terminator has been seen on broadcast television.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to bring the Strikeforce brand to CBS,” said Scott Coker, Strikeforce CEO. “We are looking forward to bringing MMA back to the network and to having the world’s No. 1 heavyweight—Fedor—compete for the first time on live network television against one of America’s most promising young, undefeated stars—Brett Rogers.”
This card will also be the first time that CBS and Strikeforce have worked together on a primetime project, however the network isn’t a rookie to the world of MMA as they hosted three successful EliteXC shows over the past couple of years.
After Strikeforce acquired much of the financially plagued Pro Elite’s assets earlier this year, it was a fairly smooth transition for CBS to hook up with Strikeforce and continue their penetration into the mixed martial arts market.
“There’s no question this is a sport that is fast becoming a force in popularity and as a business,” said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, Prime Time, CBS Television. “We’re excited to be the platform that will enable millions more to see the athlete regarded as the very best in his sport. The Number One heavyweight on the most-watched network has a very nice ring to it.”
Fedor’s resume speaks for itself as he posts a ridiculous 30-1 professional record. He’s in the midst of a 26-fight winning streak that spans eight years, and could likely go down as the best to ever put on a pair of MMA gloves.
Emelianenko was last seen putting former UFC heavyweight champ Andre Arlovski to sleep at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” back in January, and was supposed to fight multi-steroid offender Josh Barnett at “Affliction: Trilogy” earlier this month, but we all know how that went down.
Speaking of slapping Arlovski silly, Rogers bested Fedor in that category by putting “The Pitbull” down just 22 seconds into their “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” clash in June. That stellar performance bumped his pro mark to a perfect 10-0, earning praises from Emelianenko and Co.
Showtime will produce the four-fight event with host Gus Johnson calling the action and MMA legend Frank Shamrock and Mauro Ranallo serving as color analysts. The event will be jumping off at 9PM ET/PT, so it sucks for those that don’t have access to an east coast feed as you will get the action via tape delay.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget that M-1 Global is co-promoting the show. VERY IMPORTANT…
Today’s announcement did not mention where the scrap will go down, or what other fighters will be participating in the show. Either way, get ready for Fedor on 11/7/09.
(UPDATED on 11/17/09 at 4:08 PM PT)
ESPN.com is reporting that the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago, Illinois has emerged as the frontrunner to host the show. The venue holds 11,800 capacity and has hosted IFL events in the past.