Strikeforce has officially announced the signing of Fedor Emelianenko. This will now end the weeklong dance between UFC and Emelianenko. It is obvious by the signing that Emelianenko has opted for less competition in favor of controlling his own destiny.
This deal tells me a lot about Fedor Emelianenko the man, the athlete, and the fighter. There is no way that Strikeforce could match UFC in terms of marketing and money. The only thing Strikeforce could offer Fedor over UFC is security. Fedor can take solace in being portrayed as the best pound for pound fighter in the world with no real competition in place.
I have no doubt that Showtime is a part of the deal. The multi-fight deal will definitely give Showtime an edge in the fight game. This could also be the turning point in getting MMA back on CBS. For Strikeforce, this is a huge gain and a big boost to the company.
Dana also brought up a very interesting point during the call. He said in order for M1 to co-promote in America, they would have to subject themselves to background checks and licensing requirements. We will see how true this is after the Strikeforce deal plays out. I have no doubt that UFC will put a ton of pressure on the Nevada State Athletic commission to obtain all proper requirements before allowing M1 to co-promote in America.
On paper, Strikeforce offers no competition whatsoever to Fedor. Alistair Overeem, Brett Rogers, Fabrico Werdum? Is this the kind of competition that someone of Fedor’s status desires over Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, and Frank Mir? There is nothing exciting in my opinion about the future of Fedor in Strikeforce.
There is no definitive date for Fedor’s Strikeforce debut. With competition like that, I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation of that date. Overall this is a sad and disappointing day for MMA fans. Any hopes of seeing Fedor Emelianenko prove his critics wrong and cement his legacy are over. It is official. The Fedor Emelianenko is over.
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