The other day, Brett Rogers randomly came to mind.
(Yes, these are the types of things that pop through an MMA journalist's head on a frequent basis.)
The Strikeforce heavyweight has been off the radar completely since losing via 1st round TKO to Alistair Overeem back in May.
There have been four major Strikeforce events since that night. Rogers hasn't been part of any of them or even so much as mentioned. So where the heck has he been?
In Canada of course.
While the MMA world's eyes were focused on Brock/Cain in Anaheim, Rogers competed for Halifax-based W-1 on Saturday, earning a unanimous decision over Ruben Villareal in the night's main event.
However, the 29-year-old is still with Strikeforce and hasn't been released, so why has his only action since that loss been with a Canadian organization instead of the group that built him up as a title contender to begin with?
That's the latest question and frustration that I have with Strikeforce.
Like so many fighters today, Villareal is a free agent and can be booked for most any independent card that wants him. He's a veteran that has logged 40 total fights in his career while floating around the .500 mark. At this point, he is what he is.
But instead of signing Villareal or a fighter like him to start Rogers back on the right path, Strikeforce has seemingly chosen not to use him at all.
Remember the Fedor/Rogers fight that headlined a CBS show in November of 2009? The one Rogers was doing fairly well in before getting caught by Fedor in the second? It wasn't a star-making fight, but he earned some respect.
Sure, the Overeem loss was one-sided, but that happens. It doesn't ruin Rogers' marketability and I'd bet nearly all Strikeforce fans would understand that. But instead, they don't book him and let him fight on a Canadian MMA show instead? Huh?
There has been complaints from fighters in the past about long lapses between events, Joe Riggs being the latest. Perhaps Rogers was sick of waiting around and took the only fight being offered to him. I don't fault him as he's got a family to feed and only has a certain amount of years in which to draw money.
I just wish Strikeforce was the one to be promoting and paying him, not forcing him to go to another country to earn money.
I find it hard to believe there has been no spot for Rogers on any of these recent events. These are the small things that an organization fighting for MMA eyes can ill afford to do. They spent so much effort in pushing Rogers as a heavyweight threat that it doesn't make sense to wait this long to have him fight under their banner again.
If Strikeforce is going to put on events and push their own stars, they can ill afford to forget the ones they already made...before everyone else does.
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