Can Fedor and Strikeforce Rise To the Top?

Brian O. BlakeCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2009

NEW YORK - JANUARY 20:  Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko, heavyweight mixed martial artist and current World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight champion rings the NASDAQ opening bell at NASDAQ in Times Square on January 20, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

It wasn't much of a secret that Fedor Emelianenko was the heart and soul of the Affliction stable of fighters. The very second they closed their doors people in the world of MMA wanted to know where Emelianenko would end up.

Dana White appeared confident, despite past failed attempts, that he would join the big names in the UFC.

It was deja vu all over again as Fedor's manager, Vadim Finkelstein, out-priced his fighter, while Emelianenko himself sat on the line and listened to the potential deal fall apart.

Left with few options as far as big time MMA circuits, Fedor and Strikeforce struck a deal.

Upon hearing the news White made his feelings known on, not just Fedor, but the outfit that signed him.

“He’ll put them out of business,” White said. “They have no money. These guys have no money and they have no distribution. Four f—king people watch Showtime.”

“We’ll see what happens,” he would go on to say. “If they [Strikeforce] want to fight me, we’re gonna fight. We know how that goes, and we know how it ends.”

As I personally don't know how it will go or how it will end, I can only speculate that White plans on scheduling future shows on the same weekends that Strikeforce has their events booked.

Strikeforce CEO, Scott Coker, doesn't want that to happen.

“I would hate to think this would be the catalyst for this to escalate,” said Coker. “To me, I’m still of the feeling that everything’s going to be OK. We’re running our business the way we’re running it and they’re going to continue with their successful business. I guess they say only time will tell.”

With the paperwork signed between Fedor and Strikeforce, his future becomes a bit more clear.

With his last fight being cancelled and not having seen the inside of a cage since January, Fedor could very well elect to take a tune up bout, possibly against the likes of Fabricio Werdum. 

Or he can go straight for top dog, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

But then what?

Strikeforce simply cannot match the depth of talent that the UFC brings to the table.

I'm pretty sure that the heavyweight fighters in the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter alone outnumber the number of fighters that Strikeforce can provide for Fedor.

The folks over at Strikeforce can only hope the signing of Emelianenko gives the company a much needed shot in the arm and entices more of the sports elite to join their ranks.

As for the UFC, the world keeps turning. They have one of the most talked about heavyweight champions in years with Brock Lesnar and one of the sports biggest attractions in Kimbo Slice as he attempts to fight his way towards a UFC contract.

With Strikeforce, can Fedor win a title?

Sure he can.

Could he earn a ton of money in the process?

It's very possible.

Will he remain relevant as one of the sports top fighters?

That's an entirely different question.


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