Fedor Emelianenko signed with Strikeforce in 2009. Excuse me, M-1 Global and Strikeforce struck a co-promotional deal with Strikeforce's broadcast partners Showtime Sports and CBS in late 2009. At the time it was a bold, aggressive challenge to the UFC's dominance of the sport.
An alliance of Strikeforce, CBS/Showtime, M-1/Fedor and EA Sports Video Games was set to challenge for pre-eminence in MMA.
18 months later and Strikeforce has been purchased by the UFC's parent company, Zuffa. CBS no longer airs MMA programming after bad ratings and an on camera brawl in April 2010. EA Sports MMA flopped hard. And the invincible, never really beaten Fedor went 1-3 in Strikeforce. He has one more fight on his contract but don't be shocked if Strikeforce elects to cut him and re-start negotiations from a less expensive place.
Nevertheless, Coker wants to keep doing it. He spoke to MMA Fighting (transcribed by ESPN UK):
"As far as fighting in Strikeforce, I hope we have them both (Fedor and Henderson) back.
"If you look at that fight, I think it stands right up there. If you look back at the history of Strikeforce, which is relatively a newer company, I think the ones that stand out in my mind are, in our early days, Frank Shamrock fighting Cung Le - that was an unbelievable matchup. And Nick Diaz fighting Paul Daley this year - unbelievable fight.
"And [on Saturday], I think this one probably tops those two. So arguably one of the best fights in the history of our company."
I have to agree with Coker. It was a hell of a fight. I just wonder if Fedor and M-1 Global will be able to re-calibrate their calculation of Fedor's worth in light of his three fight losing streak.
As for Dan Henderson, another free agent after this fight, Coker will be bidding against his parent company for the suddenly red-hot light heavyweight.