Werdum's upset of Emelianenko seriously harmed his earning power for Strikeforce. Photo c/o sherdog.com.
As stated, Emelianenko joining Strikeforce was a big deal, and they had a lot riding on his success. He initially struggled in his first Strikeforce fight against relative no-namer Brett Rogers, but would successfully punch his head clean off in the second round.
Fans found themselves frustrated when Emelianenko's second opponent was announced to be UFC washout Fabricio Werdum. While Werdum was (and continues to be) a solid heavyweight, at the time, fans mostly knew him for getting out-pointed by Andrei Arlovski, and getting knocked out by some rookie named Junior dos Santos.
Stupidly, the month before that, Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem fought Brett Rogers (yes, the same Brett Rogers who had lost to Emelianenko) leaving most scratching their heads over why Strikeforce seemed so committed to separating their top fighters (though in retrospect, it is pretty obvious that Emelianenko was ducking Overeem).
But hey, no big deal. No way does Werdum beat Fedor, right?
Fedor would come out swinging. Hard. Werdum would slip, lure Emelianenko into his guard and slap on a triangle. Fedor would break free and then jump back in again. Werdum, this time, hooked his legs together to keep him in place. He took hold of Emelianenko's wrist and forced “The Last Emperor” to tap.
The fallout was immediate and the effects would be long-lasting. It was a crazy turn of events that, in many ways, started Strikeforce down its path to destruction.