Strikeforce Fight Week Previews: Fedor vs. Rogers

By E. Spencer Kyte (

Now it’s time for the big dance. Before breaking down the fight, here is my one shout out to the rest of the MMA community:

We’re getting a chance to see one of the greatest fighters to ever grace our sport for free tomorrow night. This is like Ali fighting on ABC’s Wide World of Sports back in the day.

Tell your friends, tell your enemies and tell all the people you talk to today, because I don’t want to spend Monday writing about the sad state of affairs this sport really is when Fedor Emelianenko can’t draw as many fans to a fight on FREE TV as Kimbo Slice.

There… onto the breakdown.

“The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-0, 1 NC) vs. Brett “The Grim” Rogers (10-0-0)

Chances are you’re going to see a trend develop throughout this preview. It’s going to involve Fedor and some variant of the word “win” and be used to for every category, starting with where these two train.

Fedor trains with his brother Aleks, Amar Suloev and Gegard Mousasi at Red Devil Sport Club. The second most prominent member of Ambition MMA where Rogers trains? Kelly Kobald.

Here it is: Fedor wins.

Experience doesn’t even really need to be dissected, as even the biggest Fedor bashers can admit that the Russian superstar has three-times as many wins as his opponent with wins over Minotauro Nogueira, Cro Cop and Mark Coleman in their primes to his credit.

Again, Fedor wins.

The one area some will argue in favor of Rogers is their shared opponent, Andrei Arlovski.

For three minutes, Arlovski had Fedor backed into a corner and on the defensive, pushing the pace and bringing the fight to the WAMMA Heavyweight champ. Though that is very much the case, the end result for both fighters against Arlovski are the same: big punch, down goes Arlovski.

Rogers was quicker, but you could even argue that Fedor was more lethal as he needed just one well-placed punch to drop the former UFC champ. Then again, some might call me the always charming “nuthugger” for backing Fedor so strongly.

Call it a push and let’s move on.

There is no question that Brett Rogers has the power to change the course of a fight with one punch and sometimes, one punch is all you need.

Without question, the youngster who will be fighting in his own backyard is going to be a force to be reckoned with moving forward in the heavyweight division, especially if he adds some ground skills to the lethal leather he already throws.

But therein lies the rub: while Rogers brings big punching and not much else, Emelianenko has shown over the last eight years that he’s got more tools to work with than Bob Villa.

He can knock you out, submit you or go the distance and perhaps more incredibly, you can’t beat him.

Kaz Fujita had him wobbled with a well-placed power shot to the head. Kaz Fujita tapped out at 4:17 of the first round.

For everyone who is impressed – and rightfully so – with Lyoto Machida’s undefeated run prior to the controversial finish of UFC 104, Fedor has doubled that in the eyes of some, myself included, as his one “loss” should rightfully be a DQ or No Contest.

Imagine, the guy has gone almost ten years without a loss in a sport where everyone loses.

Perhaps now you know why the theme of this preview has been Fedor wins.

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