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10 Questions to Ask in a Post-Fedor World

(Somehow, “Ostentatious Jacket of Crushing Defeat” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. PicProps: Strikeforce)

If Saturday night truly turns out to be Fedor Emelianenko’s swan song in mixed martial arts, the saddest part will be that we had to watch him go out on a live Strikeforce broadcast that can only be described as a terrible abortion. I mean, holy shit that was bad. From Gus Johnson showing up dressed as a beautiful woman to the horribly awkward interviews with Fedor/Gina Carano to the dreadfully anticlimactic end to the main event to the announce team desperately trying to close the show ad-libbing about Sergei Kharitonov – “He looked like a young Fedor!” Johnson said (Editor’s note: No, he didn’t) — it pretty much couldn’t have been any worse. And that doesn’t even begin to consider the fact that Emelianenko lost to a guy who just almost lost to Mike Kyle.

Even still, we’re going to avoid going full-on, tearful retrospective for a bit here. Though the man himself hinted that “maybe it’s time to leave” during his postfight interview it could have just been the initial depression and lingering effects of so many blows to the head talking. Give Fedor some time to get back to the Sport Palace and whip up on some pre-pubescent sambo white belts – and let Vadim Finkelstein start dropping hints about how that mortgage ain’t gonna pay itself – and it’s possible we could see “The Last Emperor” take at least one more bite of the MMA apple. No matter what though, we’ve likely witnessed the last of him as a top heavyweight, maybe even as a relevant one. For a lot of us, that’s a frightening reality, but one we must confront. Here are 10 questions that come immediately to mind about about our Fedor-less future …

1. Is it really time to walk away?

Dude, obviously. One of Strikeforce’s mid-major heavyweights made Emelianenko look like a fighter of very little consequence last night. He was outsized and outclassed by Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in every chartable way. For a guy who has meant so much to the sport during the last decade, you’d love to see him make a graceful exit with his peerless 31-3 record still somewhat intact. Could Fedor stick around for a few more fights? Probably even win a couple? Sure, but after last night it would only feel like Tyson after Holyfield, like Jordan after he bought the Wizards, like Favre after the dick pics leaked. In other words: Just sad. Throughout his career, Emelianenko has done things no other man has been able to do. Let’s hope he can add the ability to call it quits when the time is right to that list of accomplishments.

2. Is 205-pounds a possibility?

For a normal human, yeah. For Fedor? We can’t picture it. A mortal man of Fedor’s stature would have gotten his ass down to light heavyweight years ago, but until his last pair of outings Emelianenko has never been mortal. Clearly he could cut the weight without sacrificing much more than a little baby fat, but given what we know about the man himself we’re not sure this guy is even aware there is a light heavyweight division.

3. How long have we been living this lie?

For awhile now. Fedor hasn’t quite been himself in any of his last handful of appearances. He was losing the Arlovski fight before the knockout. He was losing the Rogers fight before the knockout. Perhaps at some point while he was fighting all those cans during the last five years, the game passed him up. Either that or his skills have eroded to the point that he can no longer get away with cutting the technical corners he used to cut. The writing has been on the wall as far back as his last fight in Affliction, we just ignored it because, c’mon, this was frickin’ Fedor we were talking about.

4. Does the grand prix still matter?

It does, but it needs a good showing from Alistair Overeem now more than ever. All along, Strikeforce has been trying desperately to craft the argument that the winner of the GP will be the No. 1-2 heavyweight in the world. Except, that line of reasoning pretty much assumed the winner would be Emelianenko or The Reem. Maybe Werdum, but honestly we’re still not sure we buy into the public image of the resurgent “Vai Cavalo” that’s been all the rage since his own win over Emelianenko. Stikeforce still has a nice little tourney going, but if the final somehow turns out to be Bigfoot vs. Kharitonov, don’t let anybody feed you the line of hooey that it means anything.

5. They can’t still be thinking of putting this thing on pay-per-view, right?

Good god, no. You serious?

6. Speaking of Werdum, how much does this devalue his win over Emelianenko?

Big time. If this were college football Werdum’s “strength of schedule” would be in a tailspin now that the marquee win of his season looks like it may have come over a powder-puff squad. Don’t worry though, Fab’s upcoming bout with Overeem will pretty much tell the tale on where he’s at. If Werdum wins that one, then we can consider him a Top Five guy. Until then, the jury’s still out.

7. OK assholes, so what does this victory mean for Bigfoot?

We’re tempted to say not a lot, actually, aside from the fact he’s just one freak injury or another upset win away from the GP final. Strikeforce can do as much damage control as it wants about how the giant Top Team fighter has “always been underrated” but this fight clearly said more about Fedor’s decline than it did about Pezao’s ascension. Honestly though, we hope some so-called “MMA analyst” slots Silva as the No. 2-heavyweight in the world after this, just like a bunch of guys did with Werdum last June. That’ll be rich.

8. Are we doomed to a lifetime of Fedor comparisons, Fedor arguments and declarations that some dude is “the new Fedor”?

Unfortunately, yes. It took Gus Johnson and Mauro Ranallo all of 10 minutes following the Silva loss to draw the aforementioned ponderous association between Kharitonov and Emelianenko while they were scrambling close the show. We wish we could tell you that will be the last time some dumbass compares a random, totally undeserving fighter to The Great Man, but it won’t be. Not by a longshot.

9. Can Strikeforce take this opportunity to totally wash its hands of M-1 Global?

Let’s hope so. If any good comes out of this it’ll be that Scoot Coker can unload at least one of the giant albatrosses that perennially threaten to kill his company. Out with the Russians gangsters … in with the, uh, Japanese gangsters if SF makes good on its plan to take Barnett and Overeem overseas in April.

10. Wait. You don’t think Strikeforce will figure out a way to get him back in the tournament … do you?

It would be pretty low, even for them. On the other hand, nothing these guys can do would surprise us anymore. I mean, did you see Gus Johnson last night? The promotion that allows its play-by-play man to go on national television looking like that is capable of anything. Concocting a half-baked scheme to get Fedor back in the draw would be so dim-witted and would so kill whatever limited momentum the GP has left, that it totally seems like something Strikeforce would do. Furthermore, it would probably only open up Fedor to more physical punishment. Nobody wants to see that, so let’s hope the “Tournament Committee” plays this one straight.


Cagepotato Comments

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leeuk- December 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm
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drugs from canada- February 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm
Very nice post, good luck! ;-)
Dynamo- February 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

You mean like what Floyd Mayweather jr. has done his whole career in boxing? lol

And Fedor is just as old as those guys so it doesn't fit very well.
f fedor- February 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm
The more you fight the better the odds that you will lose! Bullies, meat heads, mma wanna be;s, pro' doent matter. You will eventually get your ass kicked. Thanks tyson, chuck, fedor, hughes,BJ, Randy, etc. I watch to see the favorites get beat down. Nobody goes undefeated, ever!
rpn453- February 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm
@Gorilla Monsoon

Sylvia was born in 1976, just like Fedor. Arlovski was born in '79. The title contenders for Arlovski and Sylvia include Justin Eilers, Paul Buentello, Jeff Monson, and a 44-year-old Couture. Was Sylvia already past his prime when Couture stepped in and beat him? He had won 7 of his last 9 tough fights before fighting Fedor, and he gave Nog a good beating before getting caught in the guillotine. Arlovski was coming off a five-fight win streak against solid opposition when he fought Fedor.

No disrespect intended toward the fighters mentioned. They were/are all good fighters, but the top heavyweights now are at another level, and it seems that Fedor might not be able to keep up anymore.
Bill C.- February 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm
This article sucked. I've been here almost since the site began, and the quality of the writing and analysis has really tanked as of late.
I understand that you're trying to be a bit kinder to Zuffa so that they'll take you seriously, but really? Come on! The Strikeforce show was just fine. Fedor was most assuredly not losing to Rogers (and it's questionable whether he was actually losing to Arlovski).
You act as if this Grand Prix is in the same league as Yamma. Please be more objective. Your Zuffa bias is coming through loud and clear.
Hank Mardukis- February 14, 2011 at 11:04 am
@ gorilla monsoon
Choke on my fat black dick, fuckface
Towelie- February 14, 2011 at 10:58 am
I'm wondering if Fedor was heavily persuaded in these last two fights. Being such a heavy favorite means you can make shit tons more by betting on the opposition and taking a dive. I mean the guy doesn't shy away from confronting peoples strong points. Then he announces his retirement. Jus sayin'.
Gorilla Monsoon- February 14, 2011 at 10:45 am
STFU and choke on that Tim Sylvia and Arlovski used to be UFC champs arguement... If I went and got Ali to box me and I beat the shit outta of him today... does that make me the greatest boxer of all time? no... it means I beat up a man past his prime. JUST like Fedor did to those 2 clowns. now piss off and evolve with the sport... something Fraudor Femmilianstanko should've done years ago
Hank Mardukis- February 14, 2011 at 10:42 am
Also, what the fuck happened to CP while I was away? Where's the login page? What's with the shitty, uninspired articles ( not including this one)? Where's fatbellyfrank, Mr. Misanthropy, and Almost_North? Why are there so many cuntstains on my beloved comment section? What the fuck CP, WHAT THE FUCK?!
Hank Mardukis- February 14, 2011 at 10:33 am
@ crocodile dundas
Laughed my ass off, a breath of fresh air compared to some of the shit being passed off as articles lately
Hank Mardukis- February 14, 2011 at 10:28 am
.....but you're analysis of the gp couldn't be more spot-on
Hank Mardukis- February 14, 2011 at 10:23 am
@ karma
Its hard for me to say this because I hate you in so many ways.....
JagerMario- February 14, 2011 at 10:03 am
Rogan and Goldberg should get raises first thing monday morning.

That broadcast was so bad it was funny
Charles- February 14, 2011 at 9:35 am
One of the worst garbage articles I have ever read. You need to retire after this trash.
MixedMartialSharts- February 14, 2011 at 8:21 am
@Gorilla Monsoon

Shut up stupid fuck zuffa-troll. I'll kill you until yur dead fuckstick, and then eat your goddamn heart like that pro fighter who was hopped up on shrooms.

Emelienanko Fedor is the GOAT - and if you discourage that (or his accomplishments), you are no better than those scummy kids that steal tootsie rolls from Ganser's Hardware store.

Fedor. Heavyweight. Best Ever. Disagree?

David Carradine yourself.
ReX13- February 14, 2011 at 8:14 am
Dan The Viking Says:
Wait. You don’t think Strikeforce will figure out a way to get him back in the tournament … do you?

If they had any reason too, why not? If a fighter is injured, if a replacement cant fight, if they have any reason to look past the stand bys Id love to see Fedor be the man to replace the outted fighter.

Still working to lose all your MMA cred, huh?
rpn453- February 14, 2011 at 8:04 am
@Gorilla Monsoon

Since you've been a fan for so long, you must remember that Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski were the the BIG SHOW's heavyweight champions during most of Fedor's Pride reign. You do remember that, right?
Dan The Viking- February 14, 2011 at 7:55 am
Cool story, bro.
That article was one long Fedor bash.
Im not very impressed.

Two straight losses and 'obviously' he should quit the sport.
Hes only been finished once in his career.

How long have we been living this lie?
Gooo fuck yourself.

Wait. You don’t think Strikeforce will figure out a way to get him back in the tournament … do you?
If they had any reason too, why not? If a fighter is injured, if a replacement cant fight, if they have any reason to look past the stand bys Id love to see Fedor be the man to replace the outted fighter.
ccman- February 14, 2011 at 7:03 am
Cant read everything so general comments.

Fedor was losing to both aa and rogers per the judges. I always find the same people who deny this and cheer his wins there refuse to see the same quality in silva vs. Sonnen. Hmmmmmm.

Strikeforce has exciting cards ish because they don't make balanced fights. Minus the occasional scott smith or overhyped king mo we see exactly what they want. This is as close to fight fixing as you can get. On a similiar note, their production is the worst in the biz and not saying so would be remiss or delusional.

For fedor, handpicked opponent, usually fedor fodder, and he has slipped so bad thru bad management he was still man handled. He looked fat and slow, showed all the technique of a virgin losing it (like the analogy) and calling him the best right now or excusing that performance and the werdum one says you can't face truths so arguements on it are worthless. You saw your hero, I saw the fight.
rearnakedchickenchoke- February 14, 2011 at 6:50 am
I think every word of criticism of Strikeforce's production is warranted. Every time I watch, there are no less than half a dozen cringe-worthy moments from the commentators, and usually at least one laugh out loud moment (at them, not with them). It is the worst production ever and I pity anyone who is introduced to MMA through them. For some reason, EliteXC never came across quite as badly to me, altho every other show out there makes me appreciate the UFC's production and commentators. Do they say some off things or get repetitive after nearly 200 or more events? Sure. But they are the top of the heap.
lono- February 14, 2011 at 6:10 am
lol @ the look on Finklfucks face during Fedors post fight interview. wtf is up w/Hells Angels escorting M1 execs to the Izod center. Russian mob < Hell's Angels ?!
lono- February 14, 2011 at 6:04 am
never look the predator in his eyes
Gorilla Monsoon- February 14, 2011 at 5:51 am
and besides... Uncle Don Frye has been telling you Fedor's been fighting cans FOR EVER now!!!

are ANY OF YOU schmucks REEAALLY going to try and say that Don Frye is a liar???