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Old 08-05-2009, 05:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Evaluating the UFC/Strikeforce Talent Gap

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/...76214&name=mma

Posted by: Jake Rossen

Signing a Strikeforce contract will hardly deprive Fedor Emelianenko of quality competition.

I'm sure you've heard the news by now: According to researchers, fat babies have a 40 percent greater chance of becoming fat toddlers than smaller babies.

Of significantly less consequence is the report that Fedor Emelianenko has signed a three-fight deal with Strikeforce that's likely to begin in the fall. The common reaction from both fans and UFC honchos has been, roughly: Emelianenko simply isn't interested in testing himself against top competition.

For the sake of argument: Although the UFC holds a majority share of MMA's quality heavyweights, the idea that Emelianenko's legacy will be tainted by never making eye contact with them is a stretch.

Consider:

Antonio Nogueira: A nonentity where Emelianenko is concerned. He would lose a fourth meeting with the Brazilian only if he fractured both his hands against Nogueira's skull.

Randy Couture: Legendary, but well into middle age.

Frank Mir: Smashed to pieces by Brock Lesnar and traditionally weakest where Emelianenko is strongest: dropping nuclear bombs on grounded opponents.

Ben Rothwell, Junior dos Santos, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Cheick Kongo: I could think of better ways to spend a Saturday.

Setting aside interdivisional fights with Anderson Silva or Lyoto Machida -- which would be lots of fun for spectators -- the UFC really has only three upper-tier heavyweights with the skills to potentially give Emelianenko a hard time: Lesnar, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. Three.

Strikeforce can match the ante with Alistair Overeem, Brett Rogers and some kind of wild-card entrant: Bobby Lashley, Blagoi Ivanov, perhaps even Josh Barnett.

The notion that Strikeforce employs air-conditioning repairmen and the UFC enlists only Olympic-caliber athletes is pushing the envelope; I'd almost sooner see Emelianenko go on a free-agent tear for a year or two before settling in with the UFC, considering that the promotion's asphyxiating contracts invite retirement at their conclusions.

Emelianenko will be just fine. So will his career. And so will his fans.

It's those fat babies we should be worrying about.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree to a point, but I think that Dana realises this too, and is slowly working towards making the HW division a lot more dangerous..
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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fighting Overeem(strikeforce),Bigfoot,Barnett,Sergei(in Japan/co promotion) is more credible than fighting Lesnar,Couture,Mir,Carwin
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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But aren't all babies fat? I mean, look at this guy:

He has more meat on those cheeks than Miley Cyrus has tail!

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Old 08-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good post! I don't think there's so much more for Fedor in the UFC than Strikeforce. We want him there because the UFC is the defacto "major leagues", but the truth is that until there's a worldwide MMA promotion there will never be room for every good fighter to get the equal share of airtime. As far as Fedor is concerned he has a decent number of possible fights ahead of him in SF. I never thought of the Bobby Lashly fight, but that has potential to get Strikeforce noticed, although nobody will ever be able to compete with UFC money...

The UFC has "dream matchups" in Couture and Lesnar, but Mir is just a side attraction. As is CC. I'd just as much love to see Fedor vs Overeem. MMA fans can't honestly say that's not an interesting matchup. And Bobby Lashly is a fantastic idea. He's Brocks "dark side". Yes, offense meant however you want to take it

They could also make the Barnett fight happen.

The UFC is just the Red Bull of MMA. Great marketing and loads of hard work to build a foundation for which everyone will always know the "product" as a name brand. UFC. Coke. Pepsi. Kleenex. Eventually the UFC will get so big that it will just encompass nearly all aspects of MMA. It very well could, and probably will reach that level eventually. Until then we will have to sit around and watch fighters get probably one third of their real legitimate competition.

Strike Force and the UFC have the same to offer Fedor in terms of opponents, but the UFC can offer him a future.

I'll watch any of Fedor's fights. Whoever has him will get a few more PPV buys than if they didn't have him.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Good article.

I still think the best fights for Fedor would be in the UFC, especially if you include all the LHs who could go up in weight for a superfight against him (Machida, Rashad, Rampage, Anderson, etc etc...).
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Xerxes View Post
Good article.

I still think the best fights for Fedor would be in the UFC, especially if you include all the LHs who could go up in weight for a superfight against him (Machida, Rashad, Rampage, Anderson, etc etc...).
I think Rampage and Anderson will get mauled by Fedor , but Machida will give him a challenge
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah I pretty much agree.
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