After Fedor's brutal loss last night, many people have speculated that he may be done. Is he really done? Let's look at his last three fights. Fedor is clearly a far superior fighter to Brett Rogers and did eventually finish him, but Fedor struggled a lot with Rogers weight and reach advantage. Versus Werdum, Fedor got caught. There's not much here to show that he is done. He knocked Werdum down and then got submitted on the ground by BJJ black belt. Then last night against Silva, Fedor had no answer to the size advantage Silva had. Silva overwhelmed him in the second round. An eight inch reach and 50 pound weight advantage was too much to overcome. But despite that, Fedor was not knocked out. He lost due to damage. I don't think that Fedor would have been able to win the fight, if his eye had allowed a third round, but I don't think Silva would have knocked him out either.
I don't think age has caught up to Fedor as much as the heavyweight class has outgrown him. Put Brett Rogers skill set in a 6 foot tall, 230 pound body and that fight wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes. Perhaps Werdum's longer legs with his 6'4" frame made the difference in catching Fedor. I think Fedor has better all-around skills than Silva and he still appears to have very good hand speed. But maybe not enough hand speed to overcome an eight inch reach advantage. Look back at some of the names that Fedor beat back in the day: Nogueria, Cro Cop, Coleman, Randleman, Sobral, Linland. These guys were all similar in size to Fedor and all are smaller than every other fighter in the Strikeforce tournament. And not only has the heavyweight division grown in size, but many of the larger fighter's have more well-rounded skills.
So Fedor still has a solid skill set, good hand speed, and has never been KO'd. That third part is huge. His chin has been tested, but never found wanting. He's not Liddell, he's not Arlovski. He's just too small for this division. No one would ever say that Brock Lesnar has more skill than Randy Couture, but Lesnar size was too much and Randy was smart enough to see it. Lesnar, Carwin, Dos Santos. The division was growing and Couture wasn't going to have the answers for size. It made sense to go back to light heavyweight. Sure the guys at 205 are probably quicker, but they can't use their size to bully Couture around. And the same would be true for Fedor.
It's clear that Fedor could make the drop to 205. He weighs in at 230 and is in no danger of being asked to pose for the cover of Men's Fitness. He ain't Roy Nelson, but he's probably closer to Roy than he is to John Basedow. So he could go on the Dolce Diet and get down to 210 in a few weeks, won't lose any power, and could cut the five for weigh-ins with no problem. Might even be a step quicker. Then he's got interesting and competitive fights with Henderson, Cavalcante, Mousassi.
So why wouldn't he? Maybe M-1 won't let him. Heavyweight is always the marquee class in combat sports. Perhaps they don't think he could make the money at light heavyweight. His pride could get in the way. He doesn't want to be perceived as running away from heavyweight fighters. Maybe he wouldn't want to give up his ice cream and make the weight.
Or he feels he can still compete at heavyweight. Like I said, he hasn't been knocked out and he has one loss where he caught and the other was stopped because of the eye, rather than being finished. But should a fighter wait until a brutal knockout to see the writing on the wall. Fedor's opponents at heavyweight are not going to get smaller. They are going to continue to grow and eventually one will wreck him. Randy Couture would not still be fighting at 47 if he had remained at heavyweight. Fedor has no chance to continue fighting to 40 at heavyweight, but he might be able to at 205.