Strikeforce: Fedor Emelianenko’s New Playground

Written by Tim Ngo
August 4th, 2009

WAMMA heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko will break-in his newly inked multi-fight Strikeforce deal this fall on Showtime.  There are a few opponents they could put in front of him, including one guy that Fedor respectfully called for by name.

As far as timing goes, the candidate most suited to welcome Emelianenko into Strikeforce’s cage would be Brett Rogers. Following Josh Barnett’s failed drug tests, Fedor made it clear that Rogers was on his very short list of possible replacements.

Unfortunately, Strikeforce was unable to loan him out to Affliction because of a “scheduling” conflict.  Rogers’ impromptu unavailability turns out to have been a great move by the San Jose-based company as Affliction was forced to close up shop due to their inability to find a blockbuster substitute.

The addition by subtraction immediately catapulted Strikeforce into the second spot for MMA supremacy behind the UFC, and puts a possible Emelianenko vs. Rogers fight on the doorstep of reality.

“I am looking forward to going back to work and fighting at the highest level,” Fedor said regarding today’s signing. “Strikeforce is a top fight promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world. I am prepared to fight any of them.”

Although Strikeforce’s heavyweight talent pool isn’t as deep as the UFC’s, they will have the ability to reach out to other promotions and acquire additional heavyweight talent, something the UFC refused to do.

Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem is another solid opponent for Emelianenko, however he was forced to pull out of his fight against Fabricio Werdum at “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” on August 15th due to lingering issues with his “healed” broken hand.

It’s highly unlikely that he will be healthy enough to meet a fall appointment, however behind Rogers could be former NFL lineman Bob Sapp or the aforementioned Werdum.

No matter what, Strikeforce cut a deal the UFC wasn’t willing to and has now put themselves in a position to be a major player in the growing world of mixed martial arts.

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