Fedor Emelianenko will make his debut for the Strikeforce MMA promotion this fall, facing undefeated prospect Brett Grim Rogers. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker made the announcement at a Showtime promoted Fedor open workout in New York City. The promotion has yet to announce a date or a venue, though the event is expected to take place in November with San Jose or Fresno being likely locations given their strong support of previous Strikeforce events.
Fedor is considered by most experts to be the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, if not the best of all time. He snubbed the UFC following Afflictions exit from the MMA promotion business, choosing to sign with the up-and-coming Strikeforce promotion.
After signing with Strikeforce, Fedor gave his usual low key comment:
I am looking forward to going back to work and fighting at the highest level. STRIKEFORCE is a top fight promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world. I am prepared to fight any of them.
Emelianenkos manager, Vadim Finkelchtein noted:
I am very happy and excited about the upcoming collaboration with Strikeforce. We are very pleased that we found a reliable partner and I feel that Strikeforce and M-1 can support each other on many things. This will create big opportunities for both parties to test their fighters against worthy opponents.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker concurred:
We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with M-1 Global and Fedor. Fedor has been the reigning king of MMAs heavyweight division for quite some time now so being able to work with M-1 and Fedor will substantially increase the level of competition amongst the athletes in this weight class.
Fedor will put his 26 fight winning streak on the line against Brett Grim Rogers, who himself will enter the fray with an unblemished 10-0 record. The Minnesota native was originally being groomed by Elite XC as an opponent for street fighting phenom Kimbo Slice. After the demise of that promotion, Kimbo ended up on the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter while Rogers went to Strikeforce.
Fedor vs. Rogers Strikeforce betting lines have not been posted as of yet, but the Russian fighting god will clearly by a huge favorite. Considering that Emelianenko was a -500 choice at many books in the ill fated Affliction matchup against Josh Barnett(ranked the #2 heavyweight in the world at the time), he could be a -750 chalk or higher against the tough but inexperienced Rogers.
Ross Everett is a consulting handicapper for Sports-1 Sportsbook as well as a freelance sportswriter specializing in fight sports, investing strategy and how to bet on NFL football. He is a respected authority on Internet sports betting, food and wine and fencing. He lives in southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a pet wallaby.