Fedor Emelianenko vs Brett Rogers, Is This a Smart Move By Strikeforce?
First, I have to give props to Scott Coker for giving the fighters and their managers a voice on who they want to fight. As he mentioned in an interview with Cage Potato, the Brett Rogers camp asked to fight Fedor Emelianenko and Fedor’s camp asked to fight Rogers. Scott said everyone wanted to do the fight including Showtime, so they put it together.
That definitely sounds rosy and all, but is this the best move for Strikeforce? Is Brett Rogers the best First opponent for Fedor at the Stirkeforce Promotion?
Strikeforce just spent a heck of a lot of money to do the deal with M1-Global and to secure Fedor as a fighter in their promotion. Fedor is now, in my opinion, the biggest star and most sought after mixed martial artist in the Strikeforce Promotion. Fedor is Strikeforce’s ace card and they are in the poker game of their lives against the UFC. Could a fight with Brett Rogers be throwing that ace card away?
What happens if Brett Rogers actually wins? While there is little chance of this actually happening, this is MMA and it certainly is possible… anyone can be beat. If Rogers wins, Fedor’s stock and reputation as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, will plummet to the earth like a skydiver with no parachute, putting Strikeforce right back where they started before the M1-Global/Fedor deal. While Brett Rogers stock would rise if this were to happen, somehow I don’t see him carrying the torch for Strkeforce’s survival like Fedor could. There are plenty of MMA fans who still don’t know who Brett Rogers is, but few who haven’t heard of Fedor Emelianenko.
What happens if Fedor wins, as we all expect? Well, he goes on to fight Alistar Overeem and we end up seeing the fight that probably should have happened first. At least if Fedor loses to Overeem, Overeem will gain huge respect as the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champ and Fedor would have only lost to one of the best fighters in the world, rather than an up and comer on a winning streak. Fedor could then fight a lower level fighter or two and re-earn his right for another title fight.
In my opinion, Fedor should be going straight in for a title fight. His record proves he is worthy and from a business perspective, Strikeforce has much less to loose if Fedor is not victorious in his first Strikeforce fight.