(You smell that? That’s tire grease, son!!)
In an interesting development, Strikeforce is lending out onetime heavyweight contender Brett Rogers to compete on Warrior One MMA’s upcoming October 23 “New Ground” card in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
W-1 announced the card on its website yesterday.
The news is good for the fast-rising Canadian promotion, but is somewhat baffling, considering that Strikeforce’s heavyweight division is in a bit of disarray at the moment and the extra body might be needed before year’s end.
With champion Alistair Overeem undecided on whether or not he will defend his belt before 2011 if he doesn’t get Fedor, number one contender Fabricio Werdum out until 2011 and Emelianenko’s camp waffling about who “The Last Emperor” should fight next stateside, Rogers could be a commodity for Strikeforce in a pinch. He could be brought in face a guy like Antonio Silva if both Emelianenko and Overeem flake out on him, which would likely be a much more competitive fight for “Big Foot” anyway.
Rogers (10-2), will be looking to rebound from a two-fight losing streak he compiled against Strikeforce’s top two heavyweight talents.
He hasn’t fought since losing by first round TKO in a championship bout to Overeem in May at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. Prior to that he lost to Emelianenko by second round TKO at the Strikeforce’s November 2009 Fedor vs. Rogers event and let the highly coveted WAMMA heavyweight title slip through his fingers.
Part of the decision making process for Scott Coker and company in letting Rogers fight elsewhere may have included consideration of who his opponent is and what the likelihood is that "The Grim" may lose or get hurt. Chances are, when they heard he would be fighting Ruben "Warpath" Villareal, they weren’t very concerned.
New Ground is shaping up to be another solid card for W-1. Besides Rogers, the event will also feature The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 superheel Jamie Yager and a handful of Canadian stars including Kyle Sandford, Jason MacDonald protégée Ryan Machan, Bellator fighters Will Romero and Sean Pierson and former ECC and MFC light heavyweight champion Roger Hollett.