Here’s the video of last night’s Strikeforce main event on CBS for those of you who, like me, relied on your DVR to record the entirety of last night’s event, only to become enraged when the recording cut out early in the first round. Or if you just couldn’t tear yourself away from another gripping episode of "America’s Most Wanted," that’s cool too. Who knows? One of these days you might see your neighbor on there. Then won’t you be glad you missed things like awesome fights and the weddings of family members in order to stay home and stare at fugitives on TV.
My name is BG, and I’ll be your guide for the evening. I’m currently chillin’ in the press pen at the Sears Centre, and I can already tell you that Fedor’s entrance music will be unbelievably Russian. Live results from the CBS broadcast can be found after the jump, beginning at 8 p.m. CT. Refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. Warning: The show may not be broadcast live in your area, so check your local listings before you go running headlong into spoilers.
Behold, the opening video for tonight’s broadcast of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers (CBS, 9 p.m. ET/PT). As Strikeforce doesn’t have the rights to show clips from Emelianenko‘s last two Affliction fights, we have to settle for a montage of Sherdog photos soundtracked by Mauro Ranallo’s high-pitched re-enactments. But we do dig the Citizen Kane-esque shots of Fedor perched in this throne in the middle of a broken-down warehouse. Is Rogers ready to take the crown. Or will his coup attempt end in a humiliating public execution?
(Brett Rogers is going to miss this world, and everything in it.)
With Strikeforce on CBS — which we’ll be liveblogging, naturally — just a day away, we put the meager power of our two brains together to see if we can’t figure out a thing or two about what’s going to happen when Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers get their scrap on in Chicago, and what it will all mean once it’s over.
What would Brett Rogers have to do to convince you that he’s the best heayweight in the world? Is simply winning enough?
BF: No, sad as it is to admit, beating the world’s best heavyweight would not be enough.If Rogers were to throw one big right hand that knocked Emelianenko out cold and left his entourage of bearded priests and shady hangers-on with their mouths agape, by the time he made it to the post-fight press conference people would already be whispering the dreaded f-word – fluke.My gut tells me Rogers wouldn’t really give a damn.He’d take his check and his undefeated record and publicly declare that both us and our rankings can all kiss his ass, and I wouldn’t blame him one bit.
Kelly Kahl of CBS spoke with MarketWatch – the kind of website that follows up mention of any public company with that company’s current stock quote – about the network’s decision to try another go-round with MMA, and Kahl offered an interesting perspective we might not have previously considered.To hear him tell it, they might as well give it a shot, because young men aren’t watching a lot of CBS on their Saturday nights as it is:
Do you think there’s any way that Fedor Emelianenko realizes what a sensation his Glorious Sweater of Absolute Victory has become on the American MMA scene? Here he is, a man just trying to stay warm and accentuate his natural contours with some horizontal stripes, and the world (okay, mainly just us, "Mayhem" Miller, and a few other people) is captivated by this signature sweater of his. I actually hope no one tries to explain it to him. I’m afraid he might take it the wrong way if he hears that the nice boy with the severe mental disorder who gave him the thumbs up was not entirely sincere.
What’s more, I suspect the ubiquitous sweater might be having an effect on internet oddsmakers. Since yesterday the odds on Fedor went from an already extreme -500 with most bookmakers, to as high as -550 in some places and -625 in others. The line on Rogers has also moved, making him slightly greater than a 5-1 underdog with one oddsmaker. Maybe you ought to hold off on putting money down on "The Grimm." If Fedor keeps showing up around Chicago in that invincibility cloak of his, Rogers could hit +700 by fight night.
Okay, Dana Jacobson of ESPN. We know you’re not an MMA reporter, so the sight of Fedor Emelianenko‘s name on the teleprompter was probably pretty jarring. But seriously? Umalenenko? How do you look at a name that starts with an E, contains no U’s, and come up with that? You didn’t want to maybe ask someone beforehand how it was pronounced? Brett Rogers was sitting right there, and chances are he’s heard the name enough by now to help you out, even though "The Grimm" is too much of a goddamned gentleman to make you feel bad about it.
If you saw the "Fight Camp 360" episode, there’s really no new information on Rogers here, but it is interesting to listen to him talk about fighting Fedor as if he is not an extreme underdog. I can’t decide if he just needs to tell himself that it’s going to be as simple as going in there and banging, or if he truly believes it. He says he has no other option but to win, and yet almost no one expects him to. If he does pull it off, could this be the greatest upset in MMA history?
Semi-related: Yeah, Strikeforce and CBS are putting a lot into promoting the Fedor/Rogers bout, and this ESPN appearance is proof of that, but what about the other fights on the card? That’s exactly what Ariel Helwani and I discussed, among other topics, on this week’s roundtable discussion over at MMA Fanhouse. Be a doll and check it out, won’t you?
1st place: Cody V., who blew away the competition with 31% of the vote, thanks to his Fedor-o-Lantern (shown above). Cody gets a $100 gift card from MMA Warehouse for his brilliant efforts.
2nd place: Zach L., who took in 20% of the vote with his beefed-up Brock Lesnar costume. Zach earns a $50 gift card from MMA Warehouse, and may even get on top of his wife tonight.
3rd place: Jeremy H., who also took in 20% of the vote for dressing up as UFC Hall-of-Famer Billy Mays; he gets a $25 card from MMA Warehouse. The official count taken this morning had Zach at 195 votes and Jeremy at 193 votes. Thank God Jeremy didn’t go as Al Franken, or else we’d be re-counting votes for the next six months.
If your name has been called, please e-mail email@example.com with your address, and we’ll get your prize out to you ASAP. Mega-props to MMAWarehouse.com for making this all possible!
For Brett Rogers, the challenge on Saturday will be to strip away the myth from Fedor Emelianenko and approach him like he’s any other man. Which he is, of course. Fedor, as we saw last night on Fight Camp 360, is just a guy who loves his family and God, who works out in a community gym alongside schoolchildren, who still lives in the small mining town he grew up in, who enjoys a good oak-twig whipping in a Russian sauna. It’s unnerving how normal Fedor is. His priest/BFF, Father Andrey, says: "You can feel the kindness come out of him, and when you communicate with him, you are being charged by his kindness." Really? Are we talking about the same guy who did this to Gary Goodridge?
Letting Jerry Millen and his D-bag friend Ron introduce this footage of Fedor Emelianenko kickin’ it in Stary Oskol may be an immediate buzzkill, but stick with it and you’ll catch the Glorious Sweater of Absolute Victory paying its respects at church and settling down for a nice cup of tea. Hopefully tonight’s episode of Fight Camp 360 will shed a little more insight on where the sweater came from and what it might want from us.
(A quick game of rock, scissors, paper to determine who has to sit next to Jerry Millen. Photo courtesy of MixFight.ru.)
If there’s anything the old Gambling Addiction Enabler loves more than placing irresponsible bets on sporting events, it’s placing irresponsible bets on sporting events that are broadcast on network TV.It has an odd way of making you feel less like a degenerate and more like a regular citizen with a crippling addiction. It’s like going from drinking malt liquor behind T.J. Maxx to drinking it in a nice, drafty flophouse. You end up sleeping on broken glass either way, but there’s something that feels so much classier about indoor broken glass, you know?
With Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers just five days away, Showtime is spreading the word with an episode of their new half-hour hype-series, Fight Camp 360; the Fedor/Rogers installment debuts tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, so set your DVRs now. As you can see from the preview clip above, Emelianenko is being presented as a living embodiment of "fear of the unknown" — an immortal of MMA with no apparent weaknesses — while Brett Rogers is the man of little fear and great faith, who can create his own legend with a win on Saturday.
Now that our post-Halloween hangovers have almost completely subsided, it’s time to present the finalists for our MMA costume contest. Take a look at the best submissions after the jump, and please select your favorite costume via the poll on the right. Remember: $175 in MMA Warehouse gift cards are on the line, so vote thoughtfully.
Like a knight suiting up for battle, Fedor has thrown himself into his latest round of publicity obligations armored in what has become known as The Glorious Sweater of Absolute Victory. If you’ll remember, he lit up New York in the horizontally-striped number before his Affliction fight with Andrei Arlovski, and we all know how well that turned out. These photos were taken at a press conference held today somewhere in Russia — we just wanted to clarify that, because there’s an "M-1 Affliction Challenge" logo on the wall, and the word "Strikeforce" is nowhere to be seen. Anyway, Brett Rogers’s loud t-shirt just broke eye contact and pissed itself. Somebody may be paying you to wear that thing, Grim, but we highly doubt it wards off spells from jealous women…
If you’ve ever wondered why Fedor Emelianenko throws his punches a little differently than the average dude, the above video should clear up some of the mystery. Combat Sambo’s "casting" punch is intended for easy transition into grappling, as well as flexibility in terms of range and impact area; as the host demonstrates, the Sambo puncher can make contact with anything from his wrist to the back of his hand. Hope you’re taking notes, Brett…
The first gameplay image from the upcoming EA Sports MMA video game has been released, showing Fedor Emelianenko armbarring some poor, faceless opponent. Compared to the UFC joint that came before it, facial realism seems to be a priority here, though there’s something unsavory about Fedor’s expression. Basically, it’s the same expression that John Mayer gets when it’s time for his guitar solo. I don’t think Fedor has ever made that face in his life, maybe not even while in the throes of church-sanctioned marital passion. But other than that, we’re intrigued. A preview of the game will air during "Fedor vs. Rogers," November 7th on CBS.
Wouldn’t that just be a kick in the pills for Scott Coker and his crew?They go to all this trouble to sign and then promote Fedor through their CBS connections, and they spend over two years waiting for Overeem to come back and defend his heavyweight title, and then Strikeforce’s new partner threatens to swoop in and steal the fight.
Of course, that event will air on CBS, not Showtime. But Showtime is owned by CBS Corporation, and it’s the network outlet for most of Strikeforce’s events, so it’s in their best interest to pitch in with the promotional effort, which has taken a while to warm up. But hey, better late than never — and it’s great to see MMA fighters start to get the "all-access" treatment before big fights. Though if you’re one of the Showtime video producers who has to fly to Stary Oskol and freeze your ass off while shooting some B-roll of a new swingset being installed at Fedor’s training facility, our condolences…
Thursday we looked at CBS’ first efforts at promoting the November Strikeforce event featuring some bored-looking Russian guy named Fedor. What that ad failed to mention, however, was that this Fedor character wouldn’t just be hitting tires and scowling at the camera on November 7 — he’d actually be fighting someone. That someone is none other than Brett Rogers, but could a brother even get a Stephan Quadros quote about how good he is? Not with Fedor hogging the spotlight, apparently. Fortunately, there’s the internet, which never forgets anything that happens to anyone, ever. Above, we start with Rogers’ first pro fight against Chris Clark, who looks suspiciously like D-Lo Brown with dreads. Don’t worry, this won’t take long.
Here we are, three weeks away from the big Fedor Emelianenko-Brett Rogers Strikeforce fight in Chicago, and CBS is starting to put some of its promotional muscle behind the event. But here’s the problem: how do you hype a guy who most Americans have never heard of when he doesn’t speak much English and you don’t own any of his fight footage? You basically have two choices: you can show him working out while flashing various quotes about how great he is, or you can film a commercial where he fights an entire pride of lions in the big cement pit behind Vadim Finkelchtein’s house. For reasons that I’ll never quite understand, CBS has decided to go with the first option. Whatever. They’re the ones who’ll have to live with that regret.
(It’s not a damn library, Mayhem. For the last time, buy something or get out.)
Strikeforce put Jake Shields and “Mayhem” Miller on a media conference call today in order to get one thing straight: you’d have to be a real jerk to miss their fight on the Nov. 7 Chicago event on CBS.Okay, so they didn’t word it exactly like that, but Miller came close, saying that he can’t be blamed if MMA fans don’t watch because, “I’m Twittering, MySpacing and Facebooking. I’m out there. I might as well be spray painting about it on walls.”When reached for comment about that last remark, Jeff Monson issued a prolonged, cold stare before slowly shaking his head and then disappearing into the night.
This card also has that whole Fedor Emelianenko/Brett Rogers thing going on, but Strikeforce is drawing the heat where it can for right now.Something about Fedor’s blank facial expressions and cryptic Russian phrases don’t translate well on conference calls, and Rogers is most likely trying not to give away any more vital parts of his game plan.Instead, Scott Coker had to answer some hard questions about what’s going on with Strikeforce’s contracts, particularly with their champions (looking at you, Overeem).
Props to Fightlinker for unearthing this absolutely amazing baby picture of Brock Lesnar, proving once and for all that Lesnar arrived in this world enormous, ornery, and ready to consume everything in his path. (Not pictured: The tiny pacifier tattoo on his chest.) Check out that Krang-esque head-shape; my God, his poor mother. More awesome pics of MMA fighters as youngsters after the jump…
Fighting for a living is a lot like teasing a really mean dog: you can’t do it forever without something bad happening to you.Even the great ones get to a point where their drive becomes sluggish and their bellies are too full for them to stay hungry, and that’s usually when a particularly bad beating takes what remaining fire they have and douses it with the fury of a God pissing on your dreams.It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll quit right then, even if they should, but it does mean that they’ll never be the same again.Here now, in chronological order, are the most notorious breaking points in MMA history.
It’s hard to say that Igor Zinoviev was really on his way to being a legend of the sport, because he got stopped almost before he really got started.The former Soviet Army commando was one of the first fighters in the early days of MMA to beat a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt when he TKO’d Mario Sperry, and he took out Enson Inoue the next year.All this came after years of fighting underground brawls in Brooklyn warehouses following the fall of the Soviet Union, so his toughness was never in question.
When he joined the UFC the future was, as they say, wide open.Then he came up against Frank Shamrock, who wasted no time in scooping him up and slamming him down so viciously that it shattered his collarbone and knocked him out cold.It was Zinoviev’s first career loss, and he would never fight again after that.We’re not saying the devastating finish served as the catalyst for Shamrock’s out of control ego over the next 10+ years, but we’re not saying it helped, either.
(Dana White and the UFC’s Chief Financial Officer, Bobo, share a laugh over M-1′s contract demands.)
One of the things you have to like about Dana White is that when he gets in front of a national audience, he really steps up his trash talk game. When it’s just the MMA media, sure, he might recycle the same tired phrases and well-worn burns, but talking to ESPN’s Jim Rome today, he brought out some new material with regards to those M-1 Global jokers and their absurd demands during the UFC’s Fedor negotiations:
"Fedor’s not afraid to come over and fight or do any of that stuff. He’s got nutty managers. These guys are from Russia, coming to America trying to strong-arm us into some deal we won’t want to do. Go do that to the butcher down the street in Russia. It won’t work over here in the United States."
Please, tell me I’m not the only one who feels like launching into a U.S.A chant right now. So let’s see, instead of calling Fedor’s management a bunch of greedy, crazy Russians, they’ve now become "nutty" Russians who are trying to run some sort of MMA-themed protection racket. Nice little paradigm shift, DW. Just one more reason why it really sucks to be a Russian butcher.
(‘And now I join you in holy matrimony, for better or for worse, until one of you starves or is eaten by wolves.’)
Here’s how unconcerned Fedor Emelianenko is about fighting Brett Rogers on Strikeforce’s November 7 show on CBS: instead of training his ass off with a single-minded focus on destruction, he took some time out to get married this weekend.Fedor took the plunge for the second time in his life (his first marriage ended in 2006), and he did it in a Russian Orthodox ceremony which involves a lot of awesome symbolism, such as being crowned the king of your own home. The typical Orthodox wedding also usually involves a couple days worth of celebrating, but we’re hoping that Fedor postponed that, along with the honeymoon, so he could be back hitting tires with sledgehammers and sparring in public parks by Monday morning.
Seriously, it’s great that Fedor has entered once again into wedded bliss, and we’re very happy for him, but couldn’t this have waited until after the Rogers fight?Judging by the pictures, his bride wasn’t eight months pregnant, so they could have conceivably put it off until after the fight if they wanted to.At this point we have to assume that Fedor knows how to prepare for a fight, but these distractions are starting to take on a little bit of a “Rocky III” kind of feel, and – we’re just putting it out there – Brett Rogers and Clubber Lang have very similar haircuts.
Buy merchandise off the WWE website? That’s your best answer? Jesus Christ, Yahoo! Answers, where’s your quality control? (Not that I have a better suggestion. Personally, I would just duct-tape one of these to my body.) It seems that we have a long way to go in spreading awareness about our sport, and these uninformed jokers aren’t helping. I mean, check out these other "Best Answers"…
In other Strikeforce news, Kim Couture and Kerry Vera have agreed to meet in a 135-pound bout at a proposed Strikeforce Challengers event on November 20th. Couture is 1-1 in professional MMA, and hasn’t competed since her first-round TKO win over a befuddled Lina Kvokov last November. Vera, who previously competed as a kickboxer and won the 2007 season of Fight Girls, won her MMA debut via unanimous decision over Leslie Smith at a Bellator event in May. Kim’s soon-to-be-ex-husband Randy and Kerry’s husband Brandon, are scheduled to fight one week earlier at UFC 105.
According to a press release just sent out by Strikeforce, Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers will face each other on Saturday, November 7th, in a Strikeforce event that will be broadcast on CBS (9:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT). It was previously announced that the matchup would air on Showtime, which explains some of Strikeforce’s quietness over the last couple weeks — they were working out the details on this surprising change of plans. Now, Dana White won’t be able to crow about how his reruns outdraw Strikeforce’s live fights, and he probably won’t risk defeat by counter-programming Strikeforce with a live UFC event, especially considering the UFC already has events scheduled for the following two weekends.