Fedor Emelianenko: Werdum Isn't a Tough Test, but Overeem Is

Darren WongSenior Analyst IJune 25, 2010

Let's face it, Fabricio Werdum has almost no chance against Fedor Emelianenko.

I read an article a few days ago from BloodyElbow's Jonathan Snowden, that said Werdum is the best opponent out there for Fedor, and the one with the best chance of defeating him.

I disagree wholeheartedly.

Werdum may have beaten Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Brandon Vera, but he has almost zero chance of being able to defeat Fedor, and he's most certainly not the best fighter available, even outside the UFC.


Why Fedor Should Crush Werdum

Aside from just saying that Fedor is "just a better fighter" than Werdum, there are technical reasons why Fedor should beat down Werdum in a one-sided fashion.

Werdum is primarily a grappler, and he is usually only able to win fights over elite opposition if he's able to take the fight to his comfort zone on the mat.  Even then, as good of a submission expert as he is, he couldn't submit Antonio Silva, and he should have an equally difficult time trying to submit Fedor if he even manages to put Fedor on his back.  Fedor has become a very competent scrambler, so I feel like Werdum will have a difficult time controlling Fedor on the ground.

The problem though, is that Werdum probably never get the fight where he needs it to be.

Werdum is a submission and ground control expert, but he's not that great of a wrestler, and often has trouble closing distance against guys who want to stand and strike against him.

As much as Fedor has been tackled, thrown, and picked up and slammed on his head, his sambo is probably good enough to keep the fight on the feet where he'll have a decided advantage.

Even if you ignore how bad Werdum looked in his knockout loss to Junior Dos Santos, he still hasn't really looked all that great on the feet in his last few fights.

Mike Kyle looked dangerous in the first few moments of his fight against Werdum before Werdum was able to initiate some grappling, and Antonio Silva had him badly rocked before Werdum was able to recompose himself.

For as unorthodox as his striking style is, Fedor is more than capable of knocking Werdum out, and I don't think that Werdum is much of a threat to Fedor on the feet at all, unless he can manage to cut Fedor's notoriously fragile skin.

Stylistically, Werdum just doesn't match up very well against Fedor, even if he's a top 10 heavyweight.

This fight wasn't designed to be ultra-competitive. It's simply a tune-up fight before the real fight Strikeforce wants, Fedor vs. Overeem.


Why Alistair Overeem Is A Much Worse Matchup For Fedor

Alistair Overeem may have lost a very competitive fight to Werdum many years ago, but he's probably the better fighter of the two now, and he's a far more dangerous stylistic matchup for Fedor.

On the feet, Overeem can end the fight with one well-placed punch or knee.

Aside from adding a ton of size and power recently, it's also apparent that he's improved his overall striking technique as well, and he has the K-1 record to prove it.

Sure, Fedor could knock Overeem out as well, but Overeem has a much better chance of KOing Fedor than Werdum has of submitting him.

Also, watching the Fedor vs. Rogers match should give Overeem a lot of confidence.

Fedor had difficulty dealing with Rogers' size and clinching ability. Overeem can do the same good things that Rogers did in that fight.  Overeem loves to use those same double underhooks and clinch knees, and he can do them better than Rogers.

He also shouldn't be as vulnerable to the sweeps, throws and submissions that Fedor may attempt.

In fact, if I was basing my analysis strictly on their last few respective fights, then I'd have to give an edge to Overeem.

Overeem beat Rogers by dominating him from start to finish.

Fedor beat Rogers in dramatic fashion, but looked mortal.

Overeem is the guy outside of the UFC who has the best chance of ending the reign of Fedor.

Until then, we'll watch him beat up an over-matched opponent with no real road to victory.