As the dust is finally having a chance to settle following the heavyweight war waged between Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers on Saturday evening as part of the Strikeforce/M-1 broadcast on CBS, it is becoming quite apparent that order will finally be restored to the promotion’s long confused weight class in the near future.
It’s in this writer’s opinion that there is a four man heavyweight tournament brewing in Strikeforce that makes so much sense it will have you wondering exactly how long ago Mr. Coker and his associates had the scenario on the burner.
Either way, it’s nothing short of pure genius in the sense of building four legitimate superstars from your heavyweight division in not time at all.
Fedor already had draw power, but nothing like what he will have in his next bout now that the masses have had a chance to soak his style of beating the crap of people all in.
With that being said, there’s no question in my mind that Rogers pretty much mutiplied his marketability three-fold on Saturday evening. I expect for the same effect to rub off on Fabricio Werdum after he faces Emelianenko in his next outing.
The format of the heavyweight tourney will, in my opinion, look like this: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers.
As far as the title is concerned; seriously, just scrap the thing. It’s not like it ever existed to begin with. Alistair Overeem is an extremely talented fighter, but quite frankly he’s not the champion of anything at Strikeforce outside of perhaps inactivity, or number of fights pulled out of.
Sure, most of us are well aware of who Overeem is, but you have to understand that there are literally millions of what can be considered TUF 10 noobs out there at this point. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because at the core, noobs are GREAT for the sport. Everyone was a noob at some point. The main point being that the CBS crowd is going to be familiar with Fedor, Rogers, and Werdum because of their appearances Saturday evening, but who the hell is this Alistair cat?
It’s really not that big of a problem because as soon as the bulk of Americans catch a glimpse of the freakish physique that is Alistair Overeem, he should have a massive fan club for many of the same reasons fighters like GSP and Brock Lesnar are popular beyond comprehension .
You tell me what sense this makes: Allowing Overeem to keep his title he hasn’t defended since the dawn of time and face a guy that’s coming off of a loss to the man everyone already knows is the best fighter on the planet. It makes none to me.
So if it was up to me, here’s what I’d do: I’m stripping Overeem right now, no questions asked. Nobody outside of Alistair and his management’s going to hate on you for that one. As a matter of fact, I’d dare to say that Strikeforce’s stock would rise in the eyes of many for doing what should have done a long time ago.
Then set up both tournament bouts on the same card and call it exactly what it is: A tournament to determine the true Strikeforce champion once and for all.
At this point Fedor is going to sell no matter who he fights, so Werdum and him makes sense due to the fact that Fabricio seems to be having a slight problem capturing the attention of the newer audience. That fights not even close. It’s a perfect opponent to guarantee Emelianenko’s placement in the final and decisive round.
Is there anyone that honestly wouldn’t be excited to see a fight between Rogers and Overeem? Seriously, I’ll wait……. This one would be sold ten times over by both guys, who neither have a history of biting their tongues, or having a tremendous amount of respect for one another. There’s no way this fight gets out of the first round, mark my words. This is the exact type of fight that would push the CBS crowd into an MMA frenzy it’s likely never to recover from.
With Emelianenko likely pounding Werdum senseless, the question is who will he face for all of the marbles?
Rogers vs. Overeem is a crap shoot in my opinion. Two big, scary and powerful men with one punch knockout power and something to prove, someone’s going to sleep. No two ways about it.
The bottom line is when it’s all said and done, Strikeforce will have seized the attention of legions of newly converted mixed martial arts fans who’s first experience with the sport will have fighters like Fedor, Rogers, Overeem and Werdum forever etched into their minds. That kind of publicity is priceless when you’re building for the future, which has always been the Strikeforce way of doing things.