The Morning After: 5 Notes From Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva
Now that we have spent an entire Sunday stomping an old steed to the ground like it was never once a beautiful stallion, there has to be some other things that we learned from Saturday's Strikeforce show.
As with any MMA event—even those last couple of free UFC events on Spike last year—there is always something to learn and take home with us.
Strikeforce and Showtime have to feel the show was a success. They got a lot of attention and both of the winners in the first round of their tournament came out unscathed and looking impressive.
Sure, their biggest name fell to the wayside, but that is part of doing a tournament like this. The favorite doesn't always make it to the end.
But, besides the obvious "so-and-so should retire" rhetoric, here are five things the event either taught or reminded me that should be noted.
Showtime Is Appearing to Be the Problem
The longer Strikeforce goes on, the more similar to EliteXC they get.
For those of you that are new to the sport, EliteXC was an upstart promotion that joined forces with Showtime and was partially run by Gary Shaw and his genius son Skala.
When EliteXC failed miserably at everything an MMA organization sets out to do, the Shaws took the brunt of the blame and returned to promoting boxing, which they had done successfully for years.
But the longer Strikeforce goes on, the more it is beginning to feel like those old EliteXC shows.
Many of the fighters that assume the face of Strikeforce held the same role in EliteXC, such as Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith, and Antonio Silva.
Strikeforce lost Kimbo Slice to the UFC and passed on the leftovers, but just replace him with Bobby Lashley, Herschel Walker and whatever other freak-show they are currently looking into.
The sex-appeal of Gina Carano seems to be a sticking point for some executive, and they have been dying to get her back on Showtime.
And these Strikeforce Challengers events are basically identical to the previous ShoXC that EliteXC put on.
But, most noticeably to me, is the awful, corny production of the events.
If you have watched any of Showtime's attempts at quality television shows—Weeds and Shameless, for example—there is clearly someone with a screw loose behind the scenes over there.
How HBO can so consistently make quality programming while Showtime fails time after time is beyond me. Somebody over there has a skewed perspective on what professional looks like.
The Heavyweight Division Is a Different Game
If you aren't cutting weight to make the limit at heavyweight, you are not on the same playing field as anyone in MMA.
Of course, that is what is so special and exciting about the big men; they are fighting to see who could beat anyone on the planet.
But, there is no other weight class that has a 60 pound window for the fighters to fit in.
You don't see Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre fighting guys that are 40 or 30 pounds heavier than them. But, when Fedor Emelianenko faced Antonio Silva in the ring on Saturday, many there stated that Silva was a whopping 50 pounds heavier than Fedor.
If you don't want to fight a guy in a bar that is 50 pounds heavier than you, people are going to understand.
You don't see lions facing elephants one-on-one in the wild; that would be foolish. Yet, people expect Fedor to be handling a man whose head outweighs Fedor's torso.
I'm not making excuses. As I said above, that is what is so exciting about the heavyweights. But, while you criticize Fedor's performance, you gotta give him a little credit for taking on a bigger challenge than any of his smaller counterparts.
Outside of the Bracket, Strikeforce's Heavyweights Get Pretty Bad
Does anyone even remember the first three bouts on Saturday's card? I have read dozens of articles since the show and have barely seen a mention.
Why is that? Because they were a pathetic waste of time.
Valentijn Overeem vs. Ray Sefo? The older Overeem wasn't even relevant when people thought he was some ten years ago. And Sefo couldn't defend a neck crank? I usually support all MMA promotions, but that was embarrassing.
Chad Griggs vs. Gianpiero Villante may have been a quick and entertaining brawl to some, but those kind of fights can be supplied by any drunk redneck. I pay for Showtime to see quality professional fighters, not two amateurs limited to whaling their fists until the ref has to save one of them.
Shane Del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson was an OK bout, but when you consider that these are the top two heavyweights in Strikeforce that aren't in the tournament, it looks a little bleak.
All three fights ended in a matter of minutes, which is usually the case when you have two people that shouldn't be fighting on national TV.
Strikeforce's Broadcast Team Is a Trainwreck
That one of the monkeys behind the microphones for Strikeforce spits out at least one incorrect MMA stat with each bout isn't even the biggest problem.
You don't have to be an expert to see that these guys are an absolute train wreck. At least Tito Ortiz knows he has a job waiting for him after the UFC gets tired of seeing him embarrassed.
When a former champion in Andrei Arlovski suffers a brutal knockout at the hands of Sergei Kharitonov and Mauro Ranallo jumps out of his seat to scream "Karitonov treating Arlovski like Christina Aguilera treated the national anthem last Sunday," while a man is laying dangerously unconscious, it is further from the martial arts way than anything the UFC has ever spewed out.
When Gus Johnson repeatedly forgets Kharitonov's name and settles with referring to him as "the Russian" to his face, it does not look professional.
When Frank Shamrock tells the audience that Fabricio Werdum has "beat six out of the seven fighters in this tournament," it is simply irresponsible. He is actually 3-2 against the field.
Strikeforce has arguably the best MMA commentator in the game with Pat Miletich, but using him for the big events would make too much sense for the brains behind the curtain.
Nobody watching can stand any of the three men behind the mic on Saturday and if Strikeforce had any sense they would clean house instead of forcing something that obviously annoys the viewer.
Emelianenko Losing Makes Writing a Little Less Enjoyable
Before the legion of Fedor-haters jump the gun and start criticizing the title of this slide, just listen.
I understand that not everyone has been watching the sport for the majority of the last decade, but that was the time when Fedor was the best in the world.
That was the time that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was the clear No. 2 in the world, as well.
It was also a time when none of the UFC's top five heavyweights had even entered a cage yet.
So, when someone that has been following the sport since that era sees Fedor lose and then has to read a million newer fans repeatedly say "I told you so," it is not all that enjoyable.
Have the humility to say "a once great fighter is no longer great." Say, "well that shuts the door on that era."
Don't just say, "I told you he sucks." Nogueira has never lost to anyone that sucked in his life, let alone destroyed by in his prime.
Fedor is not responsible for the legion of fans that worshiped him as a superhero. He repeatedly told us he was not the best, that he just fights and whatever happens, happens.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when covering the sport and writing about the weekend's events, it is brutal to have to be subjected to the same comments posted on repeat.
I understand that is the way it works, this is the internet and everyone has a voice, but, as the title states, it is not too enjoyable.
After all, what did the guy do to you?