Posted on: November 7, 2009 10:51 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2009 11:39 pm
The feared and revered Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-1) fights undefeated KO artist Brett "The Grim" Rogers (10-0-0) in the main event.
Emelianenko is every bit the MMA master people say he is, but nobody is immune to a guy with Rogers' knockout power. One square shot to the jaw could topple the legend.
Round 1: "Big" John McCarthy is the referee. Rogers looks very anxious. They trade quick punches. Fedor is bleeding. Fedor tosses Rogers to the mat with a takedown and Rogers quickly gets to his feet and forces Fedor's back to the fence. Rogers with a short left hand to the temple. Fedor's nose is bleeding and he's breathing out of his mouth now. They're back in the center of the cage now. Fedor with a big left hand to Rogers and throws him to the mat with a single leg. Fedor is in Rogers' half guard now. Fedor tries for a kimura but Rogers fights out of it and takes top position, hammering away at Fedor from the top. Fedor goes for the arm again and Rogers fights out of it. Fedor now throwing fists from the top. He's back in Rogers' half guard and trying for an arm triangle choke from the top. Rogers gets full guard. Fedor is back to his feet. Fedor throws a big haymaker down at Rogers that misses. The round ends, and it's 10-9 Fedor. Rogers has already surpassed most predictions by simply lasting the full first round, let alone doing some damage.
Round 2: Fedor with a right, misses a left and tries for a takedown. Rogers lands a knee to the body. Fedor unloads with a barrage of fists with Rogers' back to the fence. Rogers blocks the majority of the strikes and ties Fedor's arms up. They separate and get to center cage again. Fedor puts a huge right hand on Roger's chin and drops him. One-punch knockout for Fedor Emelianenko as McCarthy steps in to stop the bout. Incredible.
Winner: Fedor Emelianenko defeats Brett Rogers via knockout at 1:48 of Round 2.
This was vintage Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor got hit with some big shots by a very powerful Brett Rogers. He got busted open. He was unloaded upon from the top, but in the end, Fedor still made it look so very easy.
One of the recurring themes of Emelianenko's fights is that there is always a moment or two -- however fleeting it may be -- where the man looks beatable. But he never loses. Many have threatened to beat him, but aside from that controversial stoppage many years ago, nobody has done it.
And if the volume of cheers for Fedor coming from the fans in attendance at the Sears Centre was any indication, we might have our answer to the question of whether a soft-spoken, introverted Russian fighter can break through as an attraction in the United States.
As I said in my preview for this show, Fedor doesn't have a ferocious look or a charismatic attitude to help him turn heads for promoters. What he does have -- and what we all saw in his win over Brett Rogers -- is a very legitimate claim to being the best heavyweight fighter in the world, and an exciting guy to watch in the ring or cage.
He will probably lose someday. It will be amazing to see how and when that happens, and who pulls it off. Until that day, it's enough just to watch the master ply his craft and keep the streak alive.
Welcome to America, big guy. See you again soon.
Posted on: November 7, 2009 8:53 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2009 10:52 pm
We're minutes away from the start of the televised portion of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on CBS. In the meantime, here are the quickie undercard results from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill:
A scheduled undercard bout pitting Mark Miller vs. Deray Davis hasn't happend yet, which means it has either been scrapped for lack of time, or will take place at the end of the show, after Fedor vs. Rogers.
The round-by-round fight blog of Strikeforce on CBS begins at the top of the hour, so if you can't get to a TV to watch it live, keep it right here for full coverage.
Posted on: November 7, 2009 1:29 pm
I will have a live blog of tonight's primetime network TV broadcast of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on CBS, beginning at roughly 8:45 p.m. ET.
That will include round-by-round details of the action from each of the fights on the main card, which looks like this:
Notes heading into tonight's big show:
-- In a very late development, Emelianenko vs. Rogers is now for the WAMMA heavyweight title, held by Emelianenko and not to be confused with the actual Strikeforce heavyweight championship, which belongs to Alistair Overeem. For those unfamiliar, WAMMA is an independent sanctioning body that crowns its own champions and decides whether certain fights are for their own titles, with no bearing whatsoever on who the champion is of the actual promotion putting on the fight.
The fight will remain a three-rounder instead of the traditional five-round title fights. If it were for the Strikeforce title, it would be for the full five rounds... not just because it's Strikeforce, but also because it would have been planned far enough in advance to allow the extra time, rather than being finalized literally the day before the show.
-- All the fighters on the CBS telecast made weight for their fights.
-- Rumor has it that if there is time to kill during the CBS broadcast, the undercard bout most likely to be replayed is the women's 145-pound bout between Marloes Coenen and Roxanne Modafferi.
Take a final look at the tale of the tape and roundtable predictions for the CBS fights in our Head to Head preview .
See you tonight for the live blog.
Posted on: July 24, 2009 9:07 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2009 9:29 pm
Earlier today, in writing about Affliction cancelling the Trilogy pay-per-view that was set to be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett, I ended with a bit of speculation : "Three months from now, will there be an Affliction MMA promotion?"
As it turns out, Affliction's demise only took another three hours.
After cancelling their Aug. 1 Trilogy event, Affliction reportedly cancelled their entire future as an MMA promotion. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports reported Friday night that Affliction had kissed and made up with the UFC, agreeing to get out of the fight promotion business in exchange for the UFC allowing Affliction to sponsor fighters in the Octagon once again.
It is unknown what will become of the fighters under contract to Affliction. The best guys on the roster will no doubt turn up in either the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator or M-1. Some could head for Japan.
Fedor Emelianenko will be the hot property as always, but there's only one place he could make truly big money, and Dana White wants exclusivity. Time will tell if Emelianenko will finally bend on that demand and put himself in the position to fight Brock Lesnar.
The UFC expressed interest in Vitor Belfort earlier this summer, so "The Phenom's" UFC return could be right around the corner pending a release from his Affliction contract. Renato "Babalu" Sobral is the reigning Strikeforce light heavyweight champion already, so his future should be secure.
Otherwise, the upcoming weeks and months figure to be busy ones for a bunch of former Affliction fighters. Here's hoping everybody lands on their feet without too much trouble.
There will certainly be more information and news to come in what has been a ridiculous week for MMA.
Posted on: June 2, 2009 8:48 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2009 8:58 pm
Last week, Affliction and M-1 Global issued a string of press releases alerting the media to a pair of press conferences -- one to be held Wednesday in New York, and another on Thursday in Los Angeles -- "to announce 'Trilogy,' Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett , on August 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA; Live on Pay-Per-View."
That quote is taken directly from one of the press releases, which begs the question: What's left to announce?
Beans-spilling press releases aside, the story here is that Emelianenko vs. Barnett is finally going to happen, not that Affliction is flying people all over the country to reveal that which has already been revealed.
Barnett (24-5-0) has been the second-best heavyweight on the Affliction roster since virtually day one. But due to a number of circumstances -- Tim Sylvia being available to fight Fedor last summer, Andrei Arlovski getting the honors for Affliction 2 -- he has never fought "The Last Emperor." Not even in Pride, where both men enjoyed lots of career success. At last, Barnett will get his shot at the man widely considered the best heavyweight MMA fighter on this planet.
For Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-0, 1 NC), Barnett not only represents the stiffest challenge possible among guys he hasn't fought yet, but he also may be his final worthwhile opponent outside of the UFC roster. Simply put: If Emelianenko beats Barnett on Aug. 1, there will be no more credible opponents for him in any promotion other than the UFC. And that's where things get truly interesting. Consider the following:
1) After Affliction's second PPV in January, speculation swirled that the company would only promote one more show -- tentatively scheduled for the summer, as "Affliction: Trilogy" is -- before bowing out of the MMA promotion business for good. But in a recent interview with MMA FanHouse's Ariel Helwani, Affliction COO Michael Cohen not only insisted that Affliction: Trilogy would not be the last event, but he promised a fourth, fifth and sixth show.
The trouble is, Emelianenko vs. Barnett is believed to be the last remaining fight on Emelianenko's Affliction contract. If that's the case, and if Emelianenko ends up running the table on Affliction's main event-worthy heavyweights, would it be financially viable for Affliction to re-up Emelianenko if the quality of his PPV opponents will go south? Spending big for a superstar fighter is only worthwhile if the profit outweighs the expenditure, and all indications are that Affliction hasn't yet figured out how to come out of its investments with a profit.
2) If Affliction does try to re-sign Emelianenko, there's a good chance it would be for a lot less money. In this economy, the decision may not even be up to Affliction anymore. They could be willing to pay him $1 million per fight -- hypothetically, of course -- but if they can't secure the financing to pull it off, will they be willing to pay Fedor out of pocket? If the UFC can match or beat Affliction's financial offer to Emelianenko, then the only remaining roadblock to him signing with the UFC would be the exclusivity issue. Which remains a potential deal-breaker for sure, but with Emelianenko running out of options and the UFC still wanting to book him, one or both sides could budge on their demands enough to meet somewhere close to the middle. The state of the MMA business and the world economy in general means that an Emelianenko-UFC negotiation might go a little differently today than it did in 2007 or 2008.
3) While it would take several major pieces falling into place for it to happen, an Emelianenko deal with the UFC might not be as far-fetched as some think. In a February interview with DreamFighters.com , Fedor said "Me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock [Lesnar] ." Sure enough, on Sunday -- the last day of May -- Dana White was Twittering about having a "HUGE" meeting in Los Angeles the next day. "Insane for UFC fans if we get this done," he tweeted.
Then, in a video blog posted on YouTube on Tuesday, White mentioned the Kimbo Slice participation on The Ultimate Fighter , and followed up with this:
"Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I had a killer, killer meeting in Los Angeles today, and I was hoping I would be able to tell you about it today, but the way deals go, they take time," White said in the video. "So I can't tell you today, but I can tell you it was a great meeting and I'm feeling very confident that we're gonna get this deal done, and it's gonna literally change the UFC forever."
We know Emelianenko is in the U.S. this week. Could it be?
Wait -- let me rephrase that.
Who else could it possibly be?
Posted on: September 2, 2008 4:15 pm
The UFC announced today that heavyweight champion Randy Couture would return to the organization for a Nov. 15 fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 in Las Vegas.
The return ends a year-long holdout by Couture that resulted in numerous legal claims and harsh words being tossed around by both sides of the dispute.
"We had some problems with Randy," Dana White said during the conference call. "We have resolved them all."
Couture resigned from the UFC in September 2007 via fax, citing a lack of respect. He also claimed that the UFC's failure to sign Fedor Emelianenko -- the one man he wanted to fight, and the man considered by many as the best fighter in the world -- as the last straw in his departure.
All of that seems to have been smoothed over, and the 45-year-old UFC Hall of Famer will return to the Octagon imminently.
The UFC continued to recognize Couture as the heavyweight champion during his absence, citing that two of the four fights left on Couture's contract were unfulfilled, and unless Couture retired permanently from the sport, he remained under contract to them. In the meantime, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was crowned UFC interim heavyweight champion following a win over Tim Sylvia, after Couture refused an offer to defend against Nogueira.
On paper, the Lesnar vs. Couture fight appears to have a good chance to rank among the highest-drawing PPV bouts in company history. While still very green in MMA, Lesnar's wrestling ability, punching power, and athleticism have caused many to deem him the future of the UFC heavyweight division.
CBSSports.com will have more on this story as it develops.