I think Shogun might give Fedor a run for his money. We'll see after the Real Deal how Fedor is after the long lay-off, and how Shogun deals with a strong GNP guy....Keep in mind, Shogun is a physical presence - most of you saw the Shogun- Rampage fight (if you didn't, go to dailymotion or something, it's definitely worth watching).
Let's try to forsee a couple of things:
1. Fedor on top - Shogun is in trouble but he is a BJJ black belt and can probably last a round (I won't say he can pull a sub off cuz Nog couldnt do it). Fedor will not try passing guard, he'll try to work the GnP and try to avoid the potential silly submission - I guess i did say he can pull it off
2. Shogun on top - he'll probably stand up as soon as possible if he's not able to work himself into atleast side-control.
3. Standing up - I beleive that they are rather evenly matched; Fedor is Fedor and Shogun is probably top three Muay Thai in Pride (Mirko + Wand)
4. Clinch - Shogun might actually have an advantage here due to his ability to throw knee strikes regardless of position (over-under, under hooks, greco roman overhooks). All in all, he did beat a very strong Quinton Jackson in the clinch - that's where i beleive he caused the most damage.
All in all, he does have a shot on paper, and his cardio is definitely good enough to last three rounds of grueling combat.
As far as being deserving, he certainly is. 2005 fighter of the year; Arona, Overeem, Jackson, Rogerio Nogueira- that's a pretty hefty 205lbs list.
As far as getting a shot at HW - well he deserves a shot at MW but he's not gonna take it because his friend and mentor is the belt holder. You gotta give the guy something, and if Mirko can't fight then give it to Shogun. Why give it to Nog again? And why give it to Barnett he has lost to CroCop three times (okay ,okay 2.5 times).
To conlcude, why not give him the shot? What does Pride have to lose? It promises to be an entartaining match-up and it will give Shogun a chance to see how good he is when it comes to fighting at HW. You'll all be glad he got a shot if he gets it after you see the fight, beleive that.