After knocking out the previously undefeated Brett Rogers this past weekend, Fedor Emelianenko has a couple of options to consider for his next possible opponent. This is where Strikeforce and M-1 Global have to brainstorm and see if they can produce a name that both sides will be happy with.
Although “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” was his first bout for the organization, and technically Alistair Overeem is the champion, let’s be real. Anyone who knows anything about MMA considers Emelianenko as the organization’s best fighter, arguably the planet’s top dog, so the only benefit of tagging Fedor as the champ is that fans could potentially be treated to seeing the Russian fight for two additional rounds.
Which is why a title fight with Overeem would be the most logical choice for Fedor, but it appears that Overeem’s nagging hand injury only allows him to compete in Japan. There must be something in the water over there …
Overeem captured the title over two years ago and hasn’t been back in a Strikeforce cage to defend it since. However, he has gone 5-0 with a No Contest in The Orient and in his homeland of the Netherlands as well. He was just seen submitting James Thompson late last month at Dream.12, so the timing is perfect.
Another possible match for Fedor would be with the recently victorious Fabricio Werdum. It was Werdum who was supposed to be next in line for a UFC heavyweight title shot before he got derailed by Junior dos Santos at UFC 90, abruptly ending his tenure with the world’s biggest MMA organization.
If it were up to Werdum, he’d fight Fedor yesterday. The Brazilian already fought and defeated the aforementioned Overeem back in Pride, and has repeatedly voiced his goal of being in the same cage with the world’s greatest heavyweight.
“I fought Alistair one time in Japan and think now is my opportunity to fight against Fedor,” Werdum said at the “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” post-fight presser.
Another option, something possibly more exciting and different, would be to host a four-man heavyweight tournament to determine a new Strikeforce king, a tourney that would include all three heavyweights and another to be named later, possibly Rogers.
“That’s something we’ll have to circle back with M-1,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said.