The Great Debate Part 3: Brett Rogers
There are times in a person's life when they buy into something for no real good reason at all.
I know I bought into a few things when in retrospect wasn't going to turn out like it was supposed to. Like that stripper Candi at Big Daddy's strip club in Phoenix actually giving me her number because she thought I was cute after the fourth lap dance, none of which were free.
Yeah, it was the loser line, not a bright shiny moment in my life, but hey, I was young.
Mixed Martial Arts as a mainstream sport in America is young, and by transient property, so are we as fans.
Though we may think we know what to look for because we have always had boxing, K-1, ISKA, and whatever other mainstream fight organization that isn't MMA related. Overall, we don't have a clue, we have an idea or two, but not a clue.
So because we as fans are young, of course we are going to fall for things from time to time, it comes with the property.
Enter the CBS and Strikeforce marketing machine with Brett Rogers.
I had no clue who Brett Rogers was because honestly, I didn't care about Strikeforce. But they sold the crap out of Brett Rogers, more specifically the man who "Defeated former UFC Champion Andrei Arlovski in 22 Seconds." I admit, it had me curious for about 25 seconds, while i was watching the fight on YouTube.
The loss was Arlovski being Arlovski, he was tagged by a counter over a lackadaisical leg kick and then bum rushed. I mean Arlovski is a guy who got knocked out in mid-air throwing a flying knee to a waiting Fedor.
Seriously, watch the ending of the Fedor/Arlovski fight, Fedor wasn't hurt or playing 'possum. Arlovski decided a flying knee was the best idea to go with against one of the best counter punchers in the game. I'm just saying, Arlovski isn't known for being the best decision maker.
Knocking out anyone in 22 seconds is impressive, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't mean you are a top 10 heavyweight, it just means that you haven't been tested yet.
In Brett Rogers case, that is exactly what it meant.
To see where Rogers was going in his fight with Fedor, you have to look at where he has been.
His first two wins were against guys wearing tank tops. Now, I know this isn't original, but I can't think where I read it, "if it is post-1998 and you are fighting in a tank top and board shorts, that doesn't bode well for the strength of competition." Though it is ok, every new fighter needs to fight a bum or two to get used to the game. So forgivable.
Brian Heden's most notable fight was a loss against Dan Severn, who was roughly six years past anything that resembles his prime. When your most notable fight is a loss, that isn't good.
His next two fights were KO's over Mark Racine and Melichar, two fighters who have never fought again. Not because Rogers destroyed them, I think they just saw the writing on the wall and decided to pursue a different route in life.
Ralph Kelly's most notable fight was beating the cadaver of Mark "The Smashing Machine" Kerr and then ripping off six losses which included Rogers.
How Marco Yanitelli missed James "The Colossus" Thompson in his article about the Top Five Tomato Cans is beyond me. He didn't even get an honorable mention. It is ok, for some great reading check out Marco .
Anyhow, Thomson is in a five-fight winless streak. 2-9 with one NC in his last 12, and apparently not even the most important part of this paragraph. Moving on.
Jon Murphy's most notable fight before Rogers was a TKO loss against Houston Alexander. When you are recognized for who you lose to and not who you beat, once again, that is a problem.
Rogers win against Ron "Abongo" Humphrey is something that resembles an actual quality win against another up and comer. Abongo won all five of his fights by way of knockout and they threw leather and pulled hair for a round before Rogers finished the deal.
It did speak a little about how Rogers can stand up to someone who can hit just as hard as him. Up to this point, it is his best win.
His next fight was against Arlovski. I mentioned him earlier, and I also mentioned him in my Fedor article , so no need to beat a dead horse.
Though at the time of the fight, Arlovski was ranked No. 2 even after he got knocked out against Fedor, according to Sherdog.
So what this means, was that MMA rankings were already flawed, but after Rogers beat Arlovski, he was automatically inserted to No. 7 in the heavyweight rankings, then see himself move up to No. 6 after not fighting at all.
Also what this means, is that Rogers wasn't ready for Fedor, no matter what CBS and Strikeforce tried to tell us. In reality, he had a puncher's chance against a great counter puncher in Fedor. We all got talked into him.
Here is the great thing, he will be better what he is, I have this idea, that there are good losses, and bad wins.
It is obvious that Rogers has a bunch of wins against opponents he was supposed to beat considering his striking and strength advantage. Though it isn't Rogers' fault in any way shape or form, the blame falls on Arlovski.
He needed those rounds against a true MMA veteran who knows what it is like to right the best available competition. Rogers had the chance to be tested, but Arlovski failed. All in all, a win is a win, it wasn't a good win.
Rogers had the opportunity to fight one of the best fighters on the planet, and he had every right to be timid, because Rogers' strength of pure punching power played into Fedor's strength of counter punching.
Rogers physical power isn't anything new to Fedor, and there isn't anything that Rogers is going to do in his 11th fight that Fedor hasn't seen not only in his 32 MMA bouts but his countless Sambo tournaments (I say countless because I haven't looked, but I imagine, it is a lot).
Rogers has now seen the best he is going to see in Strikeforce, and after his loss, he was pissed, like he had an epiphany.
What he realized, I have no clue, but I am hoping that he realized that no matter what, he has a chance to win any fight, even against the best.
I think being pissed after a knockout loss is the right attitude to have, not dejected, not sad, but pissed.
For someone who netted around $29,000 a year installing tires at Sam's Club, it takes a long time to get to main event status on national TV, yet it is a quick road back to making nothing.
Rogers has more to lose in not taking his craft seriously, and I think not only does he know this, he knows that he has to athletic and fighting ability to hang with anyone in Strikeforce.
In conclusion, Brett Rogers is a talented fighter who will make for some great fights in Strikeforce against the likes of Werdum, Silva, and Overeem.
If he wins against those three in dominating fashion, then I will believe that he will have evolved and gained enough tools to legitimately challenge Fedor.
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