Strikeforce executive Mike Afromowitz confirmed today with 5thRound.com that WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will make his highly anticipated Strikeforce debut against the undefeated Brett Rogers this fall. Although no date or venue has been officially set, it appears the former Sam’s Club employee gets first dibs at “The Last Emperor.”
“Yes [Emelianenko vs. Rogers is] confirmed,” Afromowitz emphatically told us. “No confirmed date or location yet – but match-up is confirmed.”
Emelianenko’s resume speaks for itself as he posts a Terminator-like 30-1 professional record. He’s in the midst of a 26-fight winning streak that spans over 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-o, earning praises from Emelianenko and Co.
“Fedor isn’t seeking an easy fight … we’d like to see Fedor fight against Brett Rogers. Fans want it, (and) so do we,” Emelianenko’s manager Vadim Finkelchtein stated when Affliction was looking for Barnett’s substitute.
Although they couldn’t make it work for Affliction, it was something that Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had on his mind since he inked the Russian earlier this month.
“I definitely think there’s two guys here that would be a quality opponent for Fedor,” Coker said of the talent in Strikeforce’s heavyweight division. “I think Brett Rogers is one of the guys we have to take a serious look at, and Fabricio looked great [against Mike Kyle].”
Clearly a Fedor vs. Rogers scrap is much more box-office friendly than seeing Werdum roll out the welcome wagon for Emelianenko, however Afromowitz was not able to confirm whether the bout would be a Showtime or CBS broadcast.