How Does Strikeforce Solve a Problem Like Fedor Emelianenko?

Fedor_randy1_medium Like the proverbial dog that caught the car, Strikeforce, for a long time the plucky little pup that everyone liked because it knew its place and always fetched back good fights is now under a microscope and getting criticism and advice from all sides.

Here's Jake Rossen objecting to Scott Coker's plan to build up to a Fedor vs Alistair Overeem bout:

the idea that Emelianenko won't be granted an immediate shot is a dubious one, and for a number of reasons:

1. "Let's build that fight up" isn't the sort of thinking that's conducive to good business in MMA. The sport is too tricky and unpredictable for promotions to lay foundations for fights, and several high-profile bouts have fallen apart based on the notion that they should marinate. If it's a good fight, book it. Not after lunch. Now.

2. Overeem is one of the few intriguing challengers for Emelianenko in a promotion that's currently saddled with a public perception of a poor foster home for an all-time great. (Sherdog.com's informal survey of 12,000-plus fans indicates nearly 75 percent of them think the Russian made the wrong choice.) Strikeforce needs a legitimate body of opposition in Emelianenko's debut to help smother some of that disgruntlement.

3. Any legitimate title-challenger system should respect the intelligence of those watching. (Yes, even those leaking beer from their noses and screaming into the camera from their seats.) How could Strikeforce possibly sell the position that there is a more deserving challenger for Overeem's title than Emelianenko?

I have to agree completely. One thing I've learned (I hope anyway), is that MMA is too risky and unpredictable to be screwing around trying to build towards big fights. MMA history is a rocky shore littered with the wrecks of fights that coulda shoulda woulda but got derailed by an unpredictable fate.

Why on Earth is Strikeforce risking any of their "name" heavyweights? Even Werdum vs Mike Kyle makes me nervous. Kyle is just dangerous enough to ruin anyone's night and yet he's utterly unpromote-able. Messing around with booking Overeem, a notoriously underperforming fighter, against anything but the most marginal competition before he fights Fedor is just tempting fate, but I guess that's the business Scott Coker is in these days.

Meanwhile, Randy Couture contradicts Scott Coker and says, yes Virginia, there is an MMA war on:

"The back-and-forth is starting now between the UFC and Strikeforce," Couture said Tuesday. "There were a lot of competitors out there for the UFC, and Strikeforce is the last one standing. So it was only a matter of time before the adversarial relationship started between them, I think, with the Affliction stuff and those contracts being up in the air and both organizations trying to sign those fighters."

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