It didn't take Fedor Emelianenko long to find a home, after the demise of Affliction and fruitless negotiations with Dana White Fedor has now signed with Strikeforce.
The signing resembles the Albert Haynesworth signing this offseason by the Washington Redskins where a mediocre team goes out and signs the best player available except Fedor isn't getting near $100 million and while we wait to see how that move will affect them lets analysise how this news will affect MMA as a whole.
Firstly lets look at Strikeforce. The signing of Fedor improves Strikeforce's marketing power and sets them up as the comfortale runner up to the UFC in the battle of MMA organizations in North America.
The problem with organizations that don't have many fighters is that they can't adapt to injuries or suspensions (Affliction) and lose business and money and eventually crumble at the feet of Dana White and the UFC's larger roster of well known stars. With probably the exception of Brett Rogers and Alistair Overeem no fighters in the Strikeforce roster at heavyweight are even close to being ready both marketably and physically to fighting Fedor.
Compared to the UFC-Fedor, negotiations Strikeforce have a lot less to lose than the UFC does if they signed him, if Fedor signed for the UFC and was beaten in his first fight they would've made a huge investment for someone who failed to live up to the hype while Strikeforce's future doesn't rely on Fedor winning, only on him fighting and then re-signing with them.
Now who could Fedor fight in his first fight for Strikeforce? Fedor has said that he will fight in the fall, this means that Fedor could fight in the Strikeforce show after Carano vs. Cyborg. This means that both Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers are posibilities most likely Strikeforce will try to do Overeem vs. Fedor because Brett Rogers seems to be the future of the organization and Overeem and Fedor have never fought before.
However, they could make him fight Rogers just because Overeem is the biggest threat to Fedors 'invincibilty.'
Now lets look at what Strikeforce have to do to get the most out of their investment in Fedor, firstly they have to have him fight their top two fighters (Overeem and Rogers) and if they can they could also bring in someone for him to fight.
Also if Fedor wins the title they have to keep hold of him, nothing's worse for an organization when a fighter comes in takes the belt then goes away and a interim title has to be made, especially if that guy's Fedor because not many people will be able to take that belt back from him.
Also they have to put out their best fighters for every show, putting on great fights brings you notoriety and that in turn brings in more high-profile fighters and more sales thus expanding your company. And most importantly learn from Afflictions mistakes, don't pay one fighter the same amount as your total gate (Arlovski at Affliction:Day of Reckoning) and make sure you have a big enough roster to adapt when things out of your control go wrong (suspensions, injuries).
And please, if you want to become mainstream like the UFC is transitioning into please drop women fighters, and this isn't me being sexist I think Cyborg and Carano are skilled fighters and I respect them for that but there is something off-putting when two women are fighting and I think Strikeforce are using it as a gimmick to create sales.
This move affects Dana White and the UFC both short-term and long-term. Firstly short-term it stops possibily the greatest MMA fighter ever fighting in the largest organization in the world.
Secondly it destroys the UFC's plan for a Fedor-Lesnar superfight. Thirdly fighters (especially heavyweights) will now look to Strikeforce as a viable alternative to the UFC without having to go abroad. It also affects them in the long term as Strikeforce now has the fighters and marketability to co-exist with the UFC on a long-term scale.
Secondly, Dana White's big personality will rub a lot of fighters the wrong way leading to them abandoning the UFC for Strikeforce further growing the organization. Thirdly, Strikeforce has a better relationship with other organizations which could lead to joint organizational events which could rival UFC events.
So there you have it Fedor is with Strikeforce, will this impact MMA forever... no. Will it cause Dana White to hate himself because he realised he couldn't sign Fedor... no.
Will it cause the UFC to disband realising that Strikeforce with Fedor is now the supreme ruler of MMA... no. Will any Strikeforce event be anywhere near UFC 100... no.
Will Fedor cement himself as the best fighter ever at Strikeforce... no. Will Brock Lesnar leave the UFC to fight Fedor... no. Will Fedor resign after his three fights are up... prob not. Does Dana White look back at old UFC videos and wish he still had hair... oh yes.
So all in all the Fedor-Strikeforce partnership will affect MMA in no major way and will only serve in history as that orgnization Fedor went to before he fought in the UFC. Peace Out!