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.
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.