(After drowning his sorrows until closing at a New Jersey Dairy Queen, Emelianenko was overheard telling his priest, “Dah. I may fight again.”)
Scott Coker stopped AOL’s studio today to talk with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani about the successful first show of the opening round of his promotion’s heavyweight grand prix that took place Saturday night at the IZOD Center in New Jersey. Talk quickly turned to former top pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko and whether or not Coker felt that “The Last Emperor” will indeed walk away from the sport forever as he intimated following his loss to Antonio Silva this past weekend.
“If the fighter doesn’t want to fight you’re not gonna want him to fight,” Coker told Helwani during The MMA Hour. “If the fighter doesn’t want to fight the promoter doesn’t make him fight. And if he wants to retire then it’s time to walk away. But I don’t think that’s the case … and I think the loser of Overeem and Werdum, that would be a great fight for Fedor.”
A bout with either opponent would make sense, considering the way Fedor lost to Werdum and the fact that fans have been clamouring for a fight between the Russian and the Strikeforce heavyweight champ, Overeem. Retiring on the heels of back-to-back losses likely isn’t the way he wants to go out; nor is it the way fans want to remember the once dominant former PRIDE and WAMMA champion.
Coker wouldn’t elaborate on the details of the proposed fight, which could end up screwing up the promotion’s heavyweight division if, say, Overeem was beaten by Werdum and then ended up losing his Strikeforce title to Fedor, who immediately retires with the strap. A possible remedy would be to make the tournament winner the interim champion, but who would an apt opponent be in this scenario? The finalist he beat in the tournament? Overeem?
Lets hope that Strikeforce doesn’t need to make any game-changing decisions like this. If there’s one life lesson that Coker and company have learned from past mistakes, it’s that the M-1 magic eight ball is not to be trusted.