It's been less than a week since we kicked off this little experiment, but thanks to the positive reaction the "pilot" got, we already have another one ready to go. Remember, we're not sticking to a schedule with these, so they could come kind of rapid fire like this or there could be several weeks between installments.
A few notes before we jump into things. One, we already have a new addition to The DART (how does that sound as a nickname?) in the form of Bloody Elbow mod Victor Rodriguez. Two, while he was too late to take part for this topic, starting with the next Discolored Appendage, Bloody Elbow's living ban hammer of doom DEO (screw your periods) will be taking a seat at the table as well.
Despite all the promotional hyperbole of it being an earth shattering and game changing announcement, the news of Fedor Emelianenko returning to MMA hasn't really had all that much of an impact. Some are excited and think it's the second coming of Christ, others are indifferent given how he left the sport, and some think he didn't sign with the UFC out of fear.
While we know when and where Fedor will be fighting, no one knows who it will be against or even what promotion it will be for. That gives us a lot of wiggle room for speculation. So this is going to be a two part question.
A - Realistically, who do you think Fedor is going to be facing off with come NYE?
B - Batshit crazy, who do you wish Fedor was going to be facing off with come NYE?
Punisher Bass: I think the most realistic option, assuming they're going to dip in Bellator's roster and not simply dig up some can, it will probably be either Kimbo Slice or Randy Couture. I don't see it being Tito because as delusional as he still is, he's not dumb enough to try going up in weight. Kimbo would help provide the best ratings and satisfy the Japanese love for freakshow fights, he'd also pose the smallest threat of pulling off an upset, while someone like Couture or Shamrock have that 1 in a million shot.
As for the batshit crazy pick, Brock Lesnar. He gets offered 5-10 million for one night of work and he doesn't have to worry about any drug testing, He either begs Vince to let him do it or does it no matter what his contract says, it wouldn't be the first time he's defied a legal document in favor of a payday.
Short of that, Chael Sonnen. He's not tied down to any promotion and since it's Japan he could ignore his still running suspension in Nevada. Sure it would nuke any chance of him ever coming back into the UFC fold, even as an analyst, but the short term gains would be huge. I'd actually tune in for that fight.
Alejandro Castellanos: Realistically? A faded legend of some kind. Considering Nobuyuki Sakakibara is involved, I somehow think Mark Coleman will find a way to wheel himself all the way up there. I wish I were joking but... Sakakibara.
Alternatively: Randy Couture. He seems like the much likelier choice. Outside of those, there's Kimbo, and Bass has already laid the logic for that matchup, and/or some unknown Russian guy from M-1 somewhere, ready to test his luck (and maybe even win).
As for Batshit insanity... I'd imagine some massive guy from the kickboxing circuit. A big, big lovable guy with bricks for fists, a questionable kicking game and zero ground game, which I imagine would be Fedor's idea of a workout to see if he's still got it. If, say, tomorrow they announced Fedor vs Zack Mwekassa for NYE, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. Sounds nutty, but... Sakakibara.
PB: Didn't Coleman have his hip replaced within the last year or so? Maybe it's because I wasn't around during the Pride days, but I'd like to think even the Japanese wouldn't allow that to actually happen. If they want a big bulky retired wrestler, what's Mark Kerr up to these days?
AC: Mark Kerr is busy selling luxury cars in Arizona.
Victor Rodriguez: This whole thing is sort of a mess. Yeah, it's still Fedor, but how excited can a guy get when you look at who he could realistically fight?
Lemme tell you who he won't be fighting. Lesnar's tied down to WWE and doesn't want to go through the grind of a fight camp and weight cuts along with getting hit in the face for realsies, and DeathClutch has disbanded. Chael Sonnen may still be under contract with the UFC and would be undersized and not much of a fight for him at this point, either. Mark Coleman had the hip replacements and complications that came from them. That's not gonna happen.
As for Kerr, he's selling cars in Arizona as seen in a fantastic and must-see piece by Bobby Razak and company. His hips, knees and back are shot, and he has no business stepping in to fight anyone. It won't be a Bellator event, so they won't be lending Kongo or any of their top heavyweights like Lashley or Volkov [or even middling guys like Augusto Sakai or Vinicius Spartan].
That leaves random guys on the Euro circuit that will no doubt be a major disappointment. Probably Dion Staring, because Fedor's gonna make major bank for a warmup fight on tape delay, for which I'm still remarkably salty.
Benten20: Realistically there are not many people outside the UFC who would make me tingle in special ways if they announced a fight with them. The only real obvious choice would be Couture as was mentioned and that's not exactly enticing to me considering he's 52 years old and was last seen getting kicked in the face by Machida 4 years ago.
In a realistic scenario, I want to see him fight in a mixed rules bout with Tyrone Spong.
No matter the outcome, the eyes of the fight world will be on this fight for sure. Spong wants cash and a fight with Fedor would generate a lot for him. I saw the idea floating about a mixed rules fight and I agree that it can be fun and something not many expected. Spong can wreck Fedor on the feet or Fedor may last the round and beat him in MMA.
Insanity? I want him to have to fight three men in one night. First he fights Kimbo and ruins his face, then he fights a returning Bob Sapp for the lulz and freakshow quality, and finally, you give him the ultimate challenge, the man who defied the odds so many times and made BJJ famous; Royce Gracie. Lets Mutherfukers.
PB: Doesn't Spong have a contract with WSOF?
Ben: I don't know if it's still on. He had two fights and has fought in other places after that so it's obviously not exclusive anyway.
PB: Yeah, but those were tune up boxing matches weren't they? Not MMA or kickboxing. Here's another batshit crazy idea for the pile. Fedor vs The Cast Of TUF 10, gauntlet style.
Ben: Yep but he said he wanted to pursue all3 sports and I think his contract wasn't exclusive for that very reason.
AC: Can't we just move on and start matching Fedor against non-human opponents? It feels like we're halfway there, already.
Ben: Dibs on matching him with the bear Khabib wrestled.
AC: That makes no sense, no way that bear could get a visa.
Ben: To Japan? They don't give a fuck.
AC: Oh, shit, you're right. Then again, age could well be a factor. I dunno what Fedor gets from beating up an old bear (in bear years it would be ancient).
Ben: I don't know, it was only a child when he wrestled Khabib. He would be like Fedor age in bear years.
PB: Have you guys forgotten about what happened to him the last 3 times he fought ranked opponents? I don't care how old that bear is, even if it was as doped up as that tiger who's balls Rockhold fondled, I wouldn't be too sure in Fedor's ability to win that fight.
Ben: But that bear still has zero striking skills after all these years.
Russell Davies: Okay, my opinion on the Fedor signing is probably going to make some people mad. I don't care.
No really, I don't care who he signs with. Fedor's time at the top as well as Pride all happened before I started watching the sport. There's so much nostalgia involved with him that I completely missed out on. Although he is/ was an excellent fighter I don't really care what he does.
Ben: There will be blood.
PB: I'm actually with Russell to a degree. I wasn't around during his heyday, but I did see what happened to him in Strikeforce. The "PRIDE NEVER DIE" fans are going to eat this shit up, even if he's just facing a bus load of children, it will be like nectar of the gods for them.
Since I already have casks of Fedor Fan Tears aging nicely in my wine cellar, harvested during his Strikeforce run, I'd love to be able to add a 2015 vintage to the collection. But there's no way anyone is going to let that happen, just like the good guy always has to beat the villain, they will make sure Fedor gets his hand raised so everyone goes home happy.
Nostalgia is one thing, but reality is a bitch.
AC: Reality gives you crabs. Don't do reality.
VR: My biggest problem is that he's in a promotion that doesn't even have a name fighting an unknown opponent in an already shallow talent pool at heavyweight, and for a guy that has a massive black eye from the last time he was involved with MMA. This does nothing for anyone outside of giving Fedor a monster payday for a warmup or two.
So dig this, Bellator doesn't have to eat the cost of bankrolling him in full [if at all] and Fedor fights for some three ring circus in Osaka or whatever, and Spike gets the benefit of the Fedor rub, however weak that link may be. There's juice in that fruit, but goddamn, this seems like such a complicated and risky set of moves. Fedor fights once or twice and maybe might fight in the UFC if he feels like it later. This is the realm we're operating in, and I should add we have no clue who else will be on the card of what kind of talent lending/exchange we'll see with Bellator if that even happens.
Ben: In a way though, this makes sense. Fedor hasn't fought in 3 years and if he does plan in any way to fight in the UFC, he probably wanted to have a few easy warmups. It actually seems like this might be something the UFC collaborated with. Go build some hype, get a warmup fight/two, wreck those fools and then come play with us.
PB: If you're allegedly one of the best, or even the best, fighters in history, there should be no need for a "tune up fight". There are plenty of options for him outside of crushing a can, but he's taking the easy way out/biggest payday.
I don't begrudge him for that, if I could make 2.5mil without breaking a sweat, I'd do that shit in a heartbeat. But don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. This isn't to stoke his competitive fire, it's to line his pockets.
Ben: You're argument would hold more weight if he wasn't 38 years old and hadn't fought for 3 years.
Well that about does it for this Discolored Appendage. Hope you enjoyed it and please let us know how we're doing and what topics you'd like to see up tackle in the future.