August 3, 2009.
The day Scott Coker announced that there will be an aggressive competitor to the unofficial monopoly known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The highly disputed pound-for-pound king of mixed martial arts, Fedor Emelianenko, inked a three fight contract to compete in the San Jose-based organization, Strikeforce.
With Fedor on board, Strikeforce cemented its status as a legitimate North American alternative to the current titan of mixed martial arts. Since then, fans of MMA have witnessed the landscape of the sport change for the better.
Every wrong step and miscalculation made by Zuffa has been exploited by Scott Coker and company. The arrogance of “take it or fly to Japan” no longer permeates the air (see Henderson, Dan).
Although the upper echelon of talent on their roster seems to be riddled with a lot of square pegs and round holes:
- M1 Global’s Gegard Mousasi and Fedor Emelianenko’s refusal to square off against each other.
- Alistair Overeem’s conspicuous lack of desire to fight anywhere with stringent performance enhancing drug testing.
- Jake Shields’ insistence on boring the hell out of us in the ring.
- Frank Shamrock’s insistence on boring the hell out of us cageside.
There is a certain arachnid who’s web could trap a lot of UFC-only fans. The versatility and utter dominance of Anderson “The Spider” Silva would lend credence to a seemingly infinite number of headline-worthy bouts.
As the UFC comes closer to squandering away what should be two battles of epic proportion (i.e. vs. GSP, vs. Machida, etc.), Scott Coker should be foaming at the mouth regarding the superfights waiting for him 500 miles west of Las Vegas.
If Strikeforce wants to remain a profitable entity, signing Anderson Silva could cure everything that currently ails them. There is no shortage of attention-worthy cards with the headline of “Anderson Silva vs.” at the top.
I would include Gegard Mousasi, Muhammed Lawal, Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Renaldo Souza, and Alistair Overeem as main event cards worthy of my money.
Dana White’s overworked phrase of “Biggest Fight in MMA History” could in reality, be used against him by assigning actual numbers to who most view as No. 1A and 1B of the pound-for-pound chart.
Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva only have contractual roadblocks prohibiting them from giving concrete evidence as to which one is the true pound-for-pound king of MMA.
With all due respect to Georges St. Pierre, this is one massive debate that could be settled while both fighters are still in their prime.