The April Return of Fedor Emelianenko

Written by Tom Ngo
December 22nd, 2009

After Strikeforce won the Fedor Emelianenko sweepstakes earlier this year, their intent was to pit him against the world’s best heavyweights.Granted they don’t have access to the pool of talent the UFC has, but do they honestly believe Fabricio Werdum is gonna come close to ending Fedor’s 27-fight winning streak? REALLY?

It appears the San Jose-based MMA show thinks so, or at least they have to front as if they do because Emelianenko is expected to headline his second Strikeforce card against the Brazilian on the company’s second CBS broadcast.

In his Strikeforce debut this past August, the former Pride heavyweight champion posted a sick 2ndRound knockout of then-undefeated Brett Rogers. Prior to the fight, Rogers was an opponent Team Fedor deemed worthy, however after seeing the 265-pound clash, he clearly was not.

After the “Strikeforce: Evolution” event, CEO Scott Coker stated Werdum is the frontrunner to land the co-starring role opposite his golden boy for their yet-to-be announced April card … awesome.

The good news is that nothing is set in stone. That being said, let’s see if I can convince Strikeforce otherwise as this would be the heavyweight battle that nobody this side of Fabricio Werdum would like to see.

Werdum, who was released by the UFC earlier this year after posting a mundane 2-2 Octagon record, boasts a respectable 13-4-1 overall mark and is perfect in his two scraps for Strikeforce. He was last seen taking a hard-fought unanimous decision over Antonio “Big Foot” Silva on that same “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” April fight card.

I’m not saying that Werdum doesn’t have competent mixed martial arts skills, but is Strikeforce really going to waste one of the few fights the 33-year-old has left in his tank for a non-title, non-blockbuster affair???

Whatever happened to Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem? Granted he hasn’t defended his title since capturing it over two years ago, but he’s the most capable heavyweight the company has access to.

In addition, he dawns Strikeforce gold around his waist. Meaning, any fight that he’s involved in has the potential of going 5Rounds. That’s 10 additional minutes that Strikeforce could have Fedor showcased for, captivating their CBS viewers for a longer period of time.

Those additional advertising dollars will certainly help flip the bill for Emelianenko’s hefty salary, specifically since Strikeforce isn’t prepared to host a pay-per-view event anytime soon.

Overeem is scheduled to take on Kazuyuki Fujita at “Dynamite!! 2009: Dream vs. WVR” on New Year’s Eve. Strikeforce’s show is tentatively scheduled for April, four months after his scrap with Fujita.

Coker said that he isn’t sure when Overeem might be making his return to Strikeforce, however stated the April card is a possibility.


If Overeem is healthy enough to compete in the CBS show, and it’s NOT against someone not named Fedor Emelianenko, Strikeforce is clearly missing the boat.

Not all is lost as word on the street is they are planning on having middleweight champion Jake Shields make his first title defense against newly-signed Dan Henderson in the night’s co-main event.

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