Marriage, children and happiness have robbed us of Fedor the Unstoppable. There, someone needed to say it. PicProps: CombatLifestyle
In the aftermath of Saturday night Strikeforce show, the hot topic is Fedor Emelianenko‘s plan for the future. Will he retire? Should he retire? When does God make these decisions about retirement, and can we get an invite to the press conference?
We here at CagePotato are willing to go out on this limb and say, “Geez, you guys, it looks way higher from up here than we thought.” We’ll also say that Fedor is not done yet, because advancing that opinion allows us the chance to write in some suggestions for Fedor’s next opponent, with varying degrees of likelihood.
Inside, we’ve selected a handful of fighters with history of challenging Fedor in some way, that we would be willing to watch take on the Russian Cyborg of Total Destruction. NoteL to keep things fair, everyone on the list is older than Fedor, except the first guy. But Fedor’s already signed on to fight that guy once…
Just one of the fights for Fedor that was scheduled and fell through, Fedor was set to meet Josh Barnett at Affliction: Trilogy exactly two years ago today. Things did not go as planned, in case you have forgotten. It was Barnett’s grappling prowess, not searing knockout ability, that made this fight a competitive one, and we’re still interested in how this would shake out. Plus, it would probably be the last main event ever featuring two men with relatively unimpressive physiques — there’s a reason the poster didn’t show their torsos, people.
Why it won’t happen: Barnett is already deep into the Strikeforce GP, and stands a good chance to win. Why fight Fedor after three straight losses when you’ve climbed the heap of Strikeforce heavyweights?
Why it will happen: Barnett would still take the fight, because that would totally be the metal thing to do.
Mirko Cro Cop
Emelianenko fought Minotauro Nogueira three times under the PRIDE banner, but he only faced Cro Cop once, at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005. Both fighters said later that they weren’t in the best shape to put on a show, and the judges saw the fight for Fedor. Why a rematch between the two never happened is beyond us, but now seems like the perfect time. Cro Cop has seemed at times an anachronism, a fighter out of time and place, in turns disappointing and thrilling the UFC crowd. If Fedor and Mirko sign on to face each other again, absolutely no one would complain: the sudden run on PRIDE t-shirts alone would require new manufacturing and distribution deals for Zuffa. Did we just help the economy? Yes, we did. You’re welcome.
Why it won’t happen: Fedor and CroCop aren’t in the same promotion.
Why it will happen: the potential awesomousity of this matchup, the nostalgia, the fans clamoring for a PRIDE throwback bout…there’s plenty of reason to revisit this fight.
Maybe Fedor just needs a little confidence-booster. A step down in competition against a large, explosive, athletic fighter that will blitz for sixty seconds and then gas out harder than James Toney at jiu jitsu practice. (Note to self: James Toney would have been a good choice here, too!) We all remember when Lashley was undefeated and saying oddball things like “give me cans or give me Fedor”, right? In light of recent history, maybe a little tussle between these two would be worth it? Actually, it probably wouldn’t. Fedor would totally handle this guy. But maybe that’s what everyone needs: Fedor needs to smash someone, Lashley needs to catch an ass whooping, and we need to see it happen.
Why it won’t happen: Lashley probably has personal problems.
Why it will happen: Whenever Fedor can’t get huge paydays from Zuffa anymore, he’ll start crushing cans again wherever he can, and M-1 will be looking for an impressive specimen that Fedor can sweep, mount, and submit after withstanding a storm of offense.
We’re developing a theory that if anyone on the planet needs a fight, and really needs some attention, you can plug Chael Sonnen in there and everyone will start going bonkers. Is this a throwaway suggestion? Absolutely. But we’ve seen what Sonnen will say about the Last Emperor when he’s brought up in conversation; can you imagine the new levels of trash talk that would be explored if these two were signed? The fight itself would be secondary, it would be the interviews that would keep everybody riveted.
Why it won’t happen: too many other matchups are more attractive for Fedor, who says that he doesn’t even know who this Chael Sonnen character thinks he is.
Why it will happen: purely for amusement.
Let’s be honest: when Henderson-Fedor was being finalized, wasn’t there a little voice telling you that it should’ve been Randy? This fight was another that was promised and never materialized, while Randy was “retired” as a UFC heavyweight champ in 2007. It came this close to happening, and then it didn’t. People have been speculating, simulating, and salivating ever since.
Why it won’t happen: Randy’s retired.
Why it will happen: Randy is never retired if he doesn’t want to be. If there’s a better match up with more meaning for all involved (including us), we don’t know what it is.
Ok, Nation, what do you think? Who should Fedor tangle with next? Brave the captcha and let us know.