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Fedor Emelianenko Unlikely to Get Immediate Strikeforce Title Shot

Strikeforce M-1 Global Fedor Emelianenko MMA
(Image courtesy of Strikeforce.)

Now that Strikeforce has landed the greatest heavyweight in the world, they have to make sure that casual American fans care. To that end, Fedor Emelianenko may spend the first two fights of his initial three-fight deal with Strikeforce building his name before fighting for the organization’s heavyweight strap. According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on yesterday’s edition of TapouT Radio (via FiveOuncesofPain):

“[Fedor] and Alistair Overeem should be an amazing fight, and people that haven’t seen Alistair, you know, he’s an amazing fighter. I think we should do a couple of fights and build that one up, and then let their champion fight our champion, and let’s see what happens…We’re hoping that Alistair will be ready to fight in the Fall, and we can put him on one of the cards with Fedor, and not fight against each other but fight against someone else, and let’s build that fight up”

It’s a wise strategy from a marketing perspective — especially if Strikeforce decides to try their hand at a pay-per-view show for Fedor’s third fight — but it’s not without its share of risks. One of Emelianenko’s first two opponents could "shock the world," after all, and sink Fedor’s marketability before he ever becomes champion. (Not a likely scenario, but still.) Or, Fedor and M-1 might feel they’ve accomplished all there is to accomplish in Strikeforce after their third fight, and leave the club right after they’ve taken its belt. (Assuming Strikeforce contracts don’t have an airtight champion’s clause, as in the UFC.)

Coker went on to say that Fedor’s first fight this fall will definitely be on Showtime, then shared some insight on Strikeforce’s co-promotion with M-1 Global:

“I think that was something that was really important to M-1. They were looking for a partner, just like they had with Affliction. I think branding is important to them, and I think we’ve provided a good platform for them to do some good branding in America. We’ve done co-promotions before so it wasn’t really an issue to us. I think it just worked out. When two companies have common goals in mind, good things can happen.”

Well isn’t that sweet? Coker brings up a good point, in that Strikeforce has previously partnered up with EliteXC and Bodog; they’ve had experience with co-promotion and aren’t as fiercely protective of their brand as the UFC. So maybe this thing could work out after all. Though Dana White and the UFC will surely do everything in their power to prevent that from happening…

Cagepotato Comments

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HC Honkanen- August 6, 2009 at 3:28 am
Fedor vs. Overeem. Woo-fuckin-hoo. Not impressed. Rogers fight should be good, three years from now.
axhed- August 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm
jugger you're a fucking genius.
Keyser Soze- August 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm
A Strikeforce/Dream/M-1 alliance still wouldn't pay as well as the lucrative UFC contract offered by DW and Zuffa. I figure the three remaining fights on Fedor's contract with M-1 Global will payout at most half of the UFC's offer.

Which makes me wonder why Fedor was so happy about earning less money. Is retirement on the horizon for Fedor? Does Fedor have a backdoor interest in M-1 and now Strikeforce, is it his pension? Is he dodging competition that could really beat him so he doesn't tarnish his undefeated record?

Something smell rotten in Denmark. If I were Fedor, and my management team refused an offer put forth like the UFC put out... I simply wouldn't fight, and go against my management team. Handlers and managers don't earn sh*t if there's no fight or purse. An explanation would be nice, but it'll never come.

If I were a gambling man... and I am... I believe Fedor's being squeezed and taken advantage of. Dana trash-talking Fedor would be all the more reason for Fedor to sign the contract and prove he's the real champ.

All speculation. All one can do is wonder and wait.
ReDx- August 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm
What an insult to Fedor, Werdum gets a shot at the title after getting KO'd his last fight yet Fedor has to work for it.

BTW, everybody thinking that Fedor is going to leave M1 when is contract is up is crazy. All he's talked about is how happy he is with them. He will renew the contract
Mike Milbury- August 4, 2009 at 11:59 am
Okay, I like Strikeforce, but like those belts mean anything. They get defended once every few years or whatnot.
Josh-O Slicenett- August 4, 2009 at 9:28 am
Fyodor's first opponent should be Petruzelli. If he can destroy Petruzelli, I think the American fan base will start to get on his side. It would definitly do wonders, market-wise. Imagine.... "The guy that crushed Kimbo got crushed by a crushing right from the commie can-crusher from Ukraine!"
two_black_eyes- August 4, 2009 at 8:29 am
Im not much of a fan of DW because of how he tries to control the sport instead of just trying to put on the best fights but i have to agree with him that Fedor is not worth the amount of money those crazy russians were askin for with the co-promotion.
Im hoping im wrong and strikeforce will get stronger with their newest acquisition but i think its a long shot. at least we get to watch him for free.
Smackdaddiest1- August 4, 2009 at 8:25 am
Here's to hoping Brett Rogers flash KO's him the same way he did Arlovski.....thus teaching Fedor that Vadim is a fucking slimeball who was looking out more for M1's interests than Fedors.

Will I watch Fedor fight in Strikeforce? Yeah, but I'm so fed up with his and M1's bullshit that I hope he loses his first two fights.
One Two- August 4, 2009 at 8:08 am
i wouldn't mind a rogers warm-up, I was thinking fedor would eventually join UFC after fighting the rest but Dana just called him a fucking joke and a stupid fuck which is what he said last time and why he didn't sign this time, Dana just cemented the fact that he'll never fight in the UFC.
two_black_eyes- August 4, 2009 at 7:39 am
now that i think about it overeem has good strikes and moves well so he will probably go down arlovski style. which means he may look like hes winning the fight for a few minutes then he gets hit once and the fights over.
Ryan The Master Bader- August 4, 2009 at 7:37 am
Seth Petruzelli gonna fuck this fool up!
two_black_eyes- August 4, 2009 at 7:28 am
Overeem has an no chin so he will go down Sylvia style. Rogers doesnt has enough experience and hes slow so he will go down in the typical fedor style of stun em, take em down, submit em.
BackbaconBilly- August 4, 2009 at 7:25 am
"Build the Fight" WTF??

This Coker guy sounds like your typical promoter!!

The fans are not interested in all the backdoor reasonings as to how/why you want to build the fight, we already KNOW who would be a good fight, saving Overeem up for ANYONE other than Fedor is a complete fuckin waste of ALL TRUE MMA fan's worldwide time. You don't need to hype a Fedor fight, quit trying to bleed every last cent outta this stupid deal and get on with the show!
J Akuma- August 4, 2009 at 7:21 am
lol @ Goog

Regardless to the quality of competition, I like seeing Fedor sign with Strikeforce. Makes the competition between brands a little better.

Still, I feel the Fedor myth might get exposed by someone like Rogers or Overeem. Fedor is a fantastic fighter, sure, but not the Russian Superman that the fanboys make him out to be.
Goog- August 4, 2009 at 7:12 am
So Fedor's not fighting the best of the best? How odd and unpredictable. Wacky world, this MMA. A new twist right around every corner.
BuckWild- August 4, 2009 at 7:00 am
I think there is a possibility for an upset in Strikeforce. Fedor might fall. If he does. He will get an immediate rematch and win. Watch and see. Bret Rogers will either KO him or get submitted quickly.
Junk Puncher- August 4, 2009 at 6:47 am
Actually this may work out well for Strikeforce. M-1 Global gets its name out here in the USA while Strikeforce gets its name put out in Europe. Even XFC (which is smaller than Strikeforce) is putting on a show in Germany. Coker is no dummy.
ArmFarmer- August 4, 2009 at 6:46 am
Fedor would have afflictions belt as well.. so he would have at least 4 hw belts. I'm not a big Fedor fan but that would be pretty badass.
Swedish- August 4, 2009 at 6:46 am
zero interest in these fights....... ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz

Feydor is irrelevant until he joins the UFC
Pingu- August 4, 2009 at 6:38 am
This has Kimbo vs Pink Haired Toolbox written all over it. Bye bye Strikeforce, hope you can recover from ugly ass Cyborg winning and some guy suplexing Fedor like Randleman did and this time him not being able to get back up.
Jugger- August 4, 2009 at 6:37 am
Fedor's to-do list should read:

1) Beat Brett Rogers
2) Beat Alistair Overeem
3) Defend belt one-time against ???
-thus finishing out his M-1 contract.
4) Go to UFC and beat Lesnar
-thus holding Pride's old HW belt, Strikeforce's HW belt, and the UFC HW belt.
Ouch That hurts- August 4, 2009 at 6:18 am
I have a feeling that the Strikeforce deal is just a way for Fedor to complete the M-1 Global contract and then finally sign with UFC. My fingers are crossed anyway!
Just A Wrestler- August 4, 2009 at 6:15 am