Are the good times over for Strikeforce's shot gun wedding to Fedor Emelianenko and his M-1 Global promotions? Photo via Showtime Sports
That's what Jake Rossen thinks. He points out that Fabricio Werdum is injured and unavailable for a rematch in 2010 and that Strikeforce appears to be booking Antonio Silva for the next title shot at Alistair Overeem, then he continues:
It is at this point we should begin to consider the idea that Emelianenko is officially more trouble than he's worth.
There is no one outside of Overeem and Silva that makes any kind of sense for Emelianenko at this point in time. (I suppose Strikeforce could salvage the Josh Barnett fight, and it would be semi-worthwhile, but who knows what his licensing hassles would involve?) For Emelianenko's management to refuse either fight, it tells me they want a "confidence builder" so the Russian can polish some of the armor that got dulled against Werdum. It's not something Coker should be willing to accommodate, especially when the remainder of that division harbors Mike Kyle and Herschel Walker.
If the Werdum loss was just a transient mistake, there's no reason for Emelianenko to be rebuilt. He should be in there against top competition. If that's not on the table, the massive cost of employing him is nonsensical. It's a money drain for very little payoff.
Emelianenko isn't drawing ratings far outside the norm and he no longer carries the cachet of being the "best fighter ever." Refusing a fight with Overeem or Silva means he's a barnacle. Give him his one last contracted fight -- let Daniel Cormier either get a fast lesson or the chance at a huge upset -- and then cut him loose. Fighters fight; they don't balk.
I have to agree with Rossen that the Fedor experiment has hardly been a great success for Strikeforce. He's only headlined one CBS event -- a show that drew strong, if not great, ratings -- and one Showtime event that did very well for Showtime, but seemingly at the cost of distracting the promotion completely.
He held out for no discernible reason and skipped their April CBS card, dooming that show to dismal ratings and possibly killing Strikeforce's chances to do another CBS card.
Then he lost in 69 seconds to Fabricio Werdum, a hand-picked opponent.
Unless Strikeforce can sign Josh Barnett and somehow get him through the California Athletic Commission's licensing requirements without issue, they have no one available for Fedor to fight in the fall.
Might be time to give up on that impossible dream.
Of course, even if Strikeforce did let Fedor go, there is no guarantee that he would chose to fight in the UFC, but that would be on him and his M-1 Global management, not Scott Coker and Strikeforce.
What do you think?
Should Strikeforce let Fedor Emelianenko go?
No -- "I can't quit you" (380 votes)
No -- "In Putin's Russia, M-1 Global quit you" (590 votes)
Yes (2280 votes)
3250 total votes