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Fedor Emelianenko vs. King Mo Is the Fight That Needs to Happen

("I weighed in at 219 pounds for this fight. That’s *British* pounds, homey. Moneyweight, what." / Props:

It’s natural to think that Fedor Emelianenko‘s loss to Fabricio Werdum on Saturday night was an absolute disaster, both for his career and for Strikeforce, who had their pay-per-view hopes riding on a heavyweight title clash between Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem. The shocking upset left fans scratching their heads and wondering what could be next for the Last Emperor. An immediate rematch with Werdum, as Werdum himself suggested after the fight? A tune-up match against someone further down the ladder like Antonio Silva? Retirement?

One name that doesn’t seem to be getting any consideration in the fight’s aftermath is, to me, the most obvious one — Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, Strikeforce’s reigning light-heavyweight champion. And if Strikeforce wants to pull anything positive out of their current situation, they’ll book Fedor vs. King Mo as quickly as possible. Here’s why:

1) It gives Fedor something important to do. Emelianenko is reportedly the highest-paid fighter in all of MMA right now, and he only has one fight left on his contract. Forget tune-up matches; Strikeforce needs to make the most of their investment, which means giving Fedor another big fight. But they’d be fools to re-do Fedor vs. Werdum right away — especially now that Alistair Overeem is back and ready to fight — and there’s no guarantee that fans would even be interested to see what happens in the sequel. Besides, a rematch would prove very little, no matter who wins it. Either Fedor evens the score 1-1 and steals Fabricio’s title shot somewhat illegitimately, or he loses again, thereby wasting everybody’s time. Let Werdum have his moment and fight Overeem. Fedor may be temporarily out of the heavyweight title picture, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of options. It just means Strikeforce has to tweak their strategy for him.

2) It gives King Mo something important to do. This is just as crucial. Remember how Renato Sobral earned a light-heavyweight title shot by beating Robbie Lawler, despite the fact that he was intending on transitioning to middleweight? Well, Babalu and King Mo won’t fight each other, so it’s time to move on to Plan B. Opponents for Lawal at light-heavyweight are scarce. You could either give Rafael Cavalcante a crack at the belt, or have Dan Henderson go back up to 205 to challenge, despite the fact that he was just dominated by Jake Shields at middleweight. Meanwhile, King Mo has been asking to fight Fedor since last year; he even knows some women who could beat Fedor. Why not put his belt on the line and give him his wish? Even if Fedor wins that belt then leaves Strikeforce, what does Scott Coker really stand to lose? King Mo and Cavalcante would just fight for the vacant light-heavyweight title, and Strikeforce would never have to deal with M-1 Global ever again. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

3) Fedor can make the weight, and should probably try it for the sake of his career. The weigh-ins on Friday provided us with two seemingly contradictory pieces of information: Fedor looked doughy, maybe even more so than usual, yet he only came in at 229 pounds, his lightest weight in years. He could certainly make 205 pounds if he chose to, with the help of a nutritionist and some basic instruction on water-cutting. (It should be mentioned that the UFC’s largest light-heavyweights, like Forrest Griffin, Ryan Bader, and Jon Jones, all dwarf Emelianenko.) To this point, there’s been no reason for Fedor to leave heavyweight — he’s been perfectly happy beating up bigger opponents — but moving down to LHW would give his career a much-needed second act; think of what it did for Randy Couture in 2003. We now know that Emelianenko isn’t invincible at heavyweight. But could anybody his own size beat him? I think a lot of fans would pay big money to find out.

4) Why the hell not? Come on, we’re talking about King Mo and Strikeforce — the fighter and MMA organization who defined "moneyweight." Shallowness of roster has always been one of Strikeforce’s biggest challenges, but it’s given them the freedom to make interesting fights with whatever fighters they have on hand: Nick Diaz and Frank Shamrock battling at a catchweight of 179. Jake Shields beefing up to take the middleweight belt. Hell, King Mo himself earned a light-heavyweight title shot against Gegard Mousasi directly after beating Mike Whitehead at heavyweight in his Strikeforce debut. Fedor Emelianenko isn’t a heavyweight — he’s simply been competing as one for the last ten years, and his career accomplishments make him immediately qualified to fight for Strikeforce’s light-heavyweight belt. Fedor has exactly one opportunity to become a champion in his next fight, which might be his last. If Strikeforce can’t sell that fight, then God help them.


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MMAINMYBLOOD- June 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm
@Shatski Yeah I think Tim Sylvia is the only boring fighter I ever saw compete in the sport and not lay and pray!! I think I was in and out of sleep when he fought Arlovski the third time... Yes she will be in Bjj when she hits 4 one more year... I want to train her to whip cyborgs old ass when she gets ready.. I just hope cyborg stops taking Roids by then... and still fights...
Dick_Misanthropenis- June 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm
i WILL ONLY WATCH THIS FIGHT IF THEY INSTALL (oops, forgot to turn the caps lock off from my retarded caption) fire sprinklers over the cage that shower the combatants with Rockstar energy drink for the entire duration of the match.

(Kinda seems like I'm having trouble CONTROLLING THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE, doesn't it?)
joshuan29- June 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm
"If you were to put him in the mix with the UFC heavyweights he would not go through Cain, JDS, Carwin and Lesnar with a perfect record."

These guys are all beatable. They are all tough and very impressive but I don't think you could say Fedor couldn't beat all four of those guys. Now before I'm a "nuthugger" I'm not saying it's a sure thing that he'd walk in and bushhog all 4 of them, I am saying he is capable of beating all four. I am through arguing it because I know what I've been seeing for the last ten years so I am resolved to the wait and see approach.

I hope he signs with UFC. I love the fighters in the UFC. But Dana White is a self rightous prick (as is Vadim Finkelstein), and I think he's ruined his chances of signing Fedor by the way he's talked about him.

If he signs on Dana's dotted line I think skeptics will be suprised by what Fedor does to that division. I wonder, even if he did go into the UFC heavyweight division and clear it out, would he get any more respect than he already has.

All things considered, as a Die Hard MMA fan and a Die Hard Fedor fan, I hope he fucks off M-1 and makes a run through the UFC.
dogpt3- June 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm
The reality is that the game has changed, and people like Fedor, Crocop and Nogeira are the reasons for that, the same way that golfers started to hit the gym and take their games to then ext level when Tiger started smashing everything.

If you want to get into the poker analysis, its the same thing, Hellmuth used to be the man but now he's shit because the game has changed and hes too stubborn to revamp his game, instead he opts to revamp his mental caoching or whatever kind of nonsense hes on now.

I am not arguing that Fedor is a legend and back in the Pride days was an absolute god, I'm merely saying that since fighting Crocop which I consider to be the pinnacle of his career, hes been padded by M-1 trying to leverage off his record and build a brand around him by dominating cans. If you were to put him in the mix with the UFC heavyweights he would not go through Cain, JDS, Carwin and Lesnar with a perfect record.
jgrant- June 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm
If I was Fedor, the only way I'd take this fight is if King Mo's crown and scepter were on the line instead of the belt. Those are way more important than a Strikeforce belt.
Shatski- June 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm
I remember think that when I saw the third fight with Arlovski. If he didn't have reach, he'd have been fucked. He wouldn't have been able to jab effectively the entire five rounds. Bring that girl up right! She may have quite the future. The female Werdum, if we're being topical. haha.
fACE7biter- June 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm
The point everyone is missing is that in a business where everyone has bad nights or gets caught by someone who isn't ranked as highly, Fedor avoided such a loss for over a decade. Its like the world Series of Poker. You could say its just luck, and thats why a nobody always wins, and yet, the final tables always have the same pros on them every year. Thats because they are the best at what they do, as is Fedor. Besides being on a ridiculously long win streak, he fight all of his opponents looking to finish as quickly as possible, and often times confronted them as they played to their strong suits. He kicked the shit out of Cro Cop, fought in Nogueras guard, and always looked for the sub or KO against whoever he was fighting. In an age of fighters who lay on a guy until the decision comes, or dance around and avoid them all together, I would think the MMA community would appreciate a guy who goes out of his way to finsih his fights, his own safety be damned.

Oh, and assuming Werdum does fight Overeem(as he fucking should) and lets say they find someone for King Mo, how giving Roger Gracie a shot at Fedor? They could easily agree to a catchweight that suites both of them, and it would make for a somewhat interesting story. People would be interested in seeing whether or not Fedor succumbs to a BJJ expert a second time.
MMAINMYBLOOD- June 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Shatski I think ur right he did attempt... I remember all of Sylvias ass whippins Vividly he didnt lock it in... but he used the Guillotine to finish.. I hate sylvia...all he is, is a big dude with long reach no ground game to speak of. My Daughter caught him in a heel hook and he tapped.
MMAINMYBLOOD- June 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm
@munche and why good sire cant he compete...oh thats right Because in all of his fights he has lost one... No he doesnt NEED to do anything. What Strike force NEEDS to do is get more LHWs for him to fight... Hey wait didnt Jardine just get cut?? King mo is garbage... all he is going to do is lay on people like he did with Gegard. Grinders are non exciting boring fighters that hope the judges will see it their way, they dont try to finish anything they just simply lay on you and hope that a dominant position is good enough for a W, Bitchcheck, Sonnen, Chestnar, King Mo, Tyson Griffin, Rashad Evans all boring fighters ... they have some finishes... but that is not their norm... Fedor has some descisions.. but all are unanimous none split.. and it aint for lack of trying to finish... he tries to finish with every punch or sub attempt!!! He is not content with just laying on people for 15 min. Fedor will never cut to 205 thats why he has been so successful in the HW devision he is at his natural wieght. If he cut to 205 he would be robbing himself of his explosiveness and power... he has mastered fighting at his own wieght.. Like the old school fighter he is he doesnt care how big the opponent is.
meanfinger- June 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm
so reward fedor with a title shot so he can retire and ruin SF's lhw division, kinda like shields is gonna do with the mw div.? uhhh.. kinda dumb.. make bobby"big mouth"lashley cut down.. he thinks he's the shit, he's callin out competition. king mo vs. lashley should b a good one. both have small tanks, and good wrestling. king mo by 2nd round ko.

fedor is in a bad spot now.. since everyone over hyped him. its not gonna matter who he fights. its gonna matter HOW he fights. when your 31-2 you pretty much beat anyone who's been worth a damn the last 10 years. give werdum his wish.. then if fedor loses that.. he has no choice but to cut down to 205
Shatski- June 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm
MMAINMYBLOOD, I know that's what it says on wikipedia, but I was thinking different'. I'm sure it was a guillotine, though. Maybe there was some anaconda attempt in that fight.
munche- June 28, 2010 at 11:58 am
The point people seem to be missing, isn't that Fedor NEEDS to go to LHW because he can't compete, but that the King Mo fight is the only really interesting fight for him in SF.

Fedor-Overeem? Retarded now.
Fedor-Bigfoot? Yawn.
Fedor-Werdum II? Not interested.

But put Fedor at LHW vs. King Mo (who btw also needs an opponent badly) and now it's interesting. The other fights aren't interesting. Strikeforce has such a shallow HW division that there's nothing left for Fedor there.
MMAINMYBLOOD- June 28, 2010 at 11:47 am
A SHatski...I agree with you and M1 and Fedor will not sign he will never fight in the UFC.
MMAINMYBLOOD- June 28, 2010 at 11:38 am
@ Shatski Loss to Nog was a Guillotine.
Shatski- June 28, 2010 at 11:36 am
Sylvia was not kicking Couture's ass, either.
meanfinger- June 28, 2010 at 11:30 am
@ joshuan29: u cant say someones better cuz they beat so and so.. a fight is a fight and thats why they get in there and bang. and fedor needs to stay at hvy. SF just needs 2 mix it up and get some more competition in that div.

i'd rather see lashley cut down to light hvy. since he thinks he entitled to sum real competition. plus that would be a decent match up between mo and lashley imo.
Shatski- June 28, 2010 at 11:27 am
The caption for King Mo up there is great.

El Famous, Apparently you can only get bread easily unless you are Kimbo, since he's demanding bread all the time. He can't get it himself! haha.

I've never thought Tim Sylvia was impressive. He's a tall, lanky, awkward dude with some long reach, but that's all I saw. He had some power in his hands, but I agree with Rex. The division was light at the time.Sylvia and Arlovski fought for the belt three times in a fairy short span of time. Pretty sure his loss to Noguiera was an anaconda choke, but not 100 percent on that.

Fedor would probably hang in there with the current UFC crop, but dominate them? Nah. He could go undefeated, but he'd be in some pretty tough battles doing it against guys that are way bigger than him and a hell of a lot more athletic than Hong Man Choi and Zuluzino.

Comparing some of his more recent opponents to current UFC heavyweights is acceptable, but saying the level of competition is on par, probably not. Take Brett Rogers and Carwin. Both big guys with pretty similar records, at least ten wins with a lot of KO's. Would I want to see that fight? Sure. But I think Carwin would take it. He can throw bombs, obviously, but he has the ground skills to round it out, too. Rogers might have something on the ground, but we haven't seen it from him. Maybe he forgot about it against Overeem. Would Fedor knock out Carwin like he did Rogers? Possibly, but Carwin got his nose broken than almost right away, then knocked Gonzaga out, so he might able to take more punishment.

I don't know who would be the best matchup for Fedor in the UFC, but they would all be good to watch. All blow outs? No way. But until Fedor and M1 sign on the dotted line, the debate will continue. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
Run Forest Run- June 28, 2010 at 11:21 am

I never said a word about Lesnar. He's a couple days away from an L as well.

"Are you trying to say that Arlovski, and Sylvia were not "legit" in their prime??"

THAT comment = instant loss of credibility.

MMAINMYBLOOD- June 28, 2010 at 11:19 am
joshuan29...I agree with most of what you said ...but Lidell is a natural heavy his fat ass cuts to 205. And there is no arguing with these guys that dont respect Fedor or anything that came out of Pride... hell they just started watching MMA fights when Brock Lesnar made the move to mma...Hence all the Brock and ufc Fanboys...They dont realize that when he beat Nog Twice, that no one else could. They dont realize that Crocop was kicking heads into the 7th row in Japan for a long time before Fedor (and kevin randleman ) came along... I deal with it all the time here were I live. The thing is these companies want to appeal to the casual fan so naturally you get a bunch of dudes that stumbled across a spike tv viewing of a ufc event and now they are fucking experts in the sport.. When guys like us have been following the sport since the get go .. since it was introduced to america. SOme go beack even further since before it was introduced here in america... All I can say is Ignorance is a hard thing to fight.. I have read alot of it in this thread. I am not hating on UFC I get almost all of the PPVs they have unless I am at work. I am also not hating on Strikeforce...( I do hate M1 Global tho) I Am a fan of MMA and a fan of certain fighters just like in Boxing I like certain fighters.. not all of em cuz some are assheads... or cocky jerks.. From an MMA fans perspective Fedor is one of the greatest of all time... funny thing is Fedor himself never called himself that the fans and the MMA community called him that. Most people would consider ALi the greatest of all time..I consider it to be Walker Smith Jr...(yes look it up, he is the greatest stop scratching ur head and look it up!)... in boxing... but the fans didnt start calling him that HE DID!! SO to me Fedor is more genuine and definately not overhyped or fake. its real like it or not you can take the top 3 fighters on any top ten list and he has more wins than them combined... Hey ALi fought guys like Chuck Wepner... and CLeveland Williams who was maimed and almost killed by a gunshot... (before he fought ali of course) Did any one discredit Ali ??? Nope...why because true fans of boxing are educated and they know the sport. THis is what dissapoints me about this sport is unfortunately alot of the casual fans fuck it up and there is alot of them.
joshuan29- June 28, 2010 at 11:05 am

Nog twice, Cro- Cop, Schilt, Babulu?

Decisions? More like 20 minutes of Constant Ass Whippin. WATCH those fights. All of them were dominating, no question pillar to post ass whippin. In some cases, that is more dominating than a KO
joshuan29- June 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

If Overeem or Carwin or Lesnar smashed Fedors face in, or Frank Mir snatched Fedors damn head off in a choke then I'd give it to you that maybe it was time to either move down or retire. He's not invincible, noone is, and I never thought he was. But he is the most dominant fighter ever in the MMA HW division, and probably as of right now, the greatest of all time in MMA. I'm simply saying that getting caught in a triangle doesn't destroy an entire decade of dominance.

Arlovski and Sylvia were not "spat out of the UFC." Arlovski left on a 3 fight winning streak in the UFC, and two of Sylvia's last 3 UFC matches were for the UFC title for much of both fights he was kicking their ass.

Also, decisions on Cro-Cop and Nog were in their PRIMES and in both cases Fedor tossed those two guys around the whole fight, IE Lesnars decision on Herring X 2.
dogpt3- June 28, 2010 at 10:46 am
@ Joshuan29 - Schools in session and you sir fail.

Of all the fighters fedor has faced, I would say the most notable are:
Nogeira, Semmy Schilt, Cro Cop, Babalu.

I dont think its fair to put Arlovski and Silvia in the mix as they were already washed out of the UFC when they fought Fedor.

Of all those Notable fighters, Fedor beat them all BY DECISION. The rest of the Cans he fought he knocked out. Now for those claiming russian mob ties and taking dives, do you think its more likely that they paid some can to take a dive or get Fedor to take a dive and ruin his perfect record which is the entire claim that M-1 global has?
ReX13- June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am
joshuan29>> oh, whatever. Anyone who is going to stand by Fedor as the invincible man is probably not going to change their minds just because he lost.
dogpt3- June 28, 2010 at 10:37 am
The reality is we don't know if the Hype is real. Fedor could easily lose to King Mo, Overeem or Werdum again and then what? More claims the russian mob fixed the fight? All the Fedor nut huggers are really quite blind. Im gonna post it again so everyone can see - Here is Fedors record:

2009 - Brett Rogers
2009 - Arlovski
2008 - Tim Silvia
2007 - Hong man Choi
2007 - Matt Lindland
2006 - Mark Hunt
2006 - Mark Coleman
2005 - Zuluzino
2005 - Crocop (Decision)
2004 - Nogeira (Decision)

So the two most legitimate fighters he faced he won by decision, explain to me how this record makes him the best fighter in the world? Arlovski and Silvia had both been battered, abused and spat out of the UFC. Brett Rogers is a nobody. Hong Man Choi fought Jose Canseco for christs sake. Lindland, Hunt and Coleman all decent fighters. Zuluzino is a heart attack waiting to happen. Crocop and Nogeira, he beat by decision and these guys are getting abused in the UFC.

k-onda- June 28, 2010 at 10:25 am
Age has to catch up with Fedor eventually, and everyday these real Heavies are looking more bionic. I say do it, sanctioned, done. Who do we need to talk to to make this happen?

*And all y'all who feel you need to write a damn book in the "comments" section on the inter-web are completes douches.