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Old 11-05-2009, 05:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Strikeforce Heavyweight Winners May Meet Next

Strikeforce Heavyweight Winners May Meet Next



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Thursday, November 05, 2009
by Loretta Hunt (lhunt@sherdog.com) (Photos by Jeff Sherwood)


20737
CHICAGO -- A quartet of heavyweights are very much in the mix for a title shot at Strikeforce and M-1 Global’s “Fedor vs. Rogers” this Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The world’s top-ranked heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko, is the strong favorite against undefeated Brett Rogers, while recent signees Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva will vie for a place in the division’s still evolving pecking order. Both are three-round, non-title bouts.

And if Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem can’t return to defend his turf in early 2010, the winners of Saturday’s fights could meet in a title elimination bout during that time.

“You see the matchup potential between the winner of the Silva-Werdum fight and the winner of the Fedor vs. Rogers fight, so I think it would make sense for those two to fight each other depending on how it goes,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.

Coker seemed assured that Overeem, who won the title from Paul Buentello in November 2007 but has never defended it, will be back in the fold in the first quarter of 2010.

However, Overeem has cancelled two attempts the promotion made this year to pair him up with Fabricio Werdum because of a hand injury. In the interim, Overeem entered this year’s K-1 tournament in September and advanced to its finals on Dec. 5 in Japan. The lanky Dutchman also squeezed in two additional MMA bouts, one in his homeland in October and the other a week later for Dream in Japan, during that time.

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With Overeem’s future commitments still undetermined, Saturday’s heavyweight doubleheader has palpable ramifications.

Emelianenko, who turned down a multi-fight deal with the UFC in August to join Strikeforce’s ranks, said he plans to stick around to find out what happens next.

“I know for sure that I will have two more fights next year in the U.S.A. and then we’ll see how the contract will work,” said Emelianenko through his translator. “Maybe we’ll sign another contract.

The stoic Russian said being the heavy favorite hasn’t altered his mindset or preparation for the bout.

“I never try to think about how impressive I am,” said Emelianenko. “I just come to ring. I come to the ring to show my techniques and show my skills. I want definitely to finish it as fast as possible.”

Emelianenko’s would-be unsurper, Rogers, might have the most to gain with what would be classified as a huge upset victory if he prevails Saturday.

“I’m kinda in that ball right now where I’m about to explode,” said Rogers. “This is my first time… where I can just go out and fight and I’m ready to go.”

In the other bracket, the heavy-handed Silva, making his return to the U.S. following a one-year steroids suspension, has an equally career-changing challenge in Werdum, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt once in the UFC title hunt.

“He has very strong points and weaknesses,” said Silva through his manager, Alex Davis. “I’ve been training very hard in jiu-jitsu and standup with my coach, just came off a fight in Japan four months ago and have been training ever since. I’ve come to do or die.”

Likewise to the other three vying for Strikeforce’s heavyweight top spot, Werdum simply stated that his goal is to secure a bout with Emelianenko or Rogers next.
I think Fedor will eat all of these guys alive but anything can happen in mma.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm picking the right side of the photo to win Saturday night.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And Sokky in the red tracksuit reminds me of the hilarious Royal Tenenbams.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm picking the right side of the photo to win Saturday night.
I agree except for the Shields Miller fight. I'm up in the air for that fight and anyone of them has a chance to win. I wouldn't be shocked if either of them won.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This one's a no brainer, they'll meet if Alastair doesn't return in time.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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rogers really doesnt look much bigger than fedor
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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rogers really doesnt look much bigger than fedor
I remember seeing a picture of them in a showtime staredown. There looked to be a substantial difference.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The lanky Dutchman

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