Sports

A New Twist in Fedor’s Next Fight

Fedor Emelianenko What is the quickest way to get a title shot in Strikeforce? Lose! Strikeforce has offered Fedor Emelianenko a heavyweight title shot against Alistair Overeem for his next fight. Yes after tapping out in a little over a minute, Fedor Emelianenko could be rewarded with a title shot.

The news would be absurd for any other organization other than Strikeforce. I like Strikeforce but let’s be honest. They have turned their heavyweight title into a joke. Scott Coker had no problem waiting three years for Alistair Overeem to defend the belt. Then he gives Brett Rogers the first crack at Overeem, coming off a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko. Now he wants to offer Fedor Emelianenko a title shot? It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than this…or does it.

The irony here is that Fedor Emelianenko doesn’t want the title match. Fedor Emelianenko would prefer to avenge his loss with a rematch against Fabricio Werdum. Not only does Strikeforce want to give a guy a title shot who just got submitted in a minute, he would rather fight someone else. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

The idea behind offering Fedor Emelianenko the title match is to get him to sign a champion’s clause. Fedor has one fight left on his Strikeforce contract. Fedor and his M1 camp would like to see him avenge his loss and increase his value as a free agent on the MMA market. As an attempt to get Fedor to stick around past one fight, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is obviously banking on Fedor beating Overeem and locking him into title defenses. In a perfect world that sounds great, but in the world of professional athletics it is about as shady as it comes.

This story tells me a few different things about the future of Fedor Emelianenko. It absolutely tells me he has no intentions of signing an extension with Strikeforce before his next fight. If he was open to signing an extension, Coker would make the Fedor vs. Werdum rematch and worry about the title match later. Two, he took the loss harder than he let on and desperately wants to avenge his defeat. Three and most importantly, he must feel that he has an option with the UFC. Dana White said that he has zero interest in Fedor following his loss to Werdum. If that was true, why wouldn’t Fedor just stick around Strikeforce and why would Scott Coker be so crazy about him leaving? Without Strikeforce and the UFC, Fedor really doesn’t have any big time options. The insistence at fighting Werdum and finishing out his contract tells me that Dana White is not done chasing Fedor no matter what he says. At least that is what M1 Global would like to us to believe.

M1 Global still thinks that Fedor in the UFC is very possible. “I think yes,” Vadim Finkelstein said of the possibility of reaching a deal with the UFC. “But not on the same terms they offered us before. We will not let ourselves to get owned. Fedor became very popular [already] outside the Octagon. So, long story short: 1. We would like to receive guaranteed payments. I know that if we agree for percents, they will cheat us. 2. Maybe not a co-promotion (like we offered before), but at least co-branding. 3. They also will have to permit Fedor participating in Sambo competitions, and during our last negotiations UFC were ready for that term.” – Fightline.com.

Good luck with those negotiations Vadim. Apparently M1 didn’t get the memo that Fedor lost. Once he tapped, he tapped out his negotiating leverage with the UFC. When I read a quote like that I realize that Fedor’s chances of appearing in the UFC remain exactly where they were before the loss. As long as he and his handlers carry around that same attitude, I don’t expect to ever see Fedor fighting in the UFC. I am not saying it won’t happen, but not with those kinds of demands.

I think it is kind of funny that Strikeforce is so insistent on this champion’s clause when their middleweight champion is on his way to the UFC. It is amazing that Scott Coker didn’t think of this when he negotiated with Jake Shields. Maybe he learned his lesson?

And how do you think Alistair Overeem is feeling after hearing about this latest turn of events? The reason Scott Coker is so insistent on matching up Fedor vs. Overeem is that he assumes Fedor would win and be stuck in Strikeforce for the duration of his title run. If Coker was confident in his champion, this match wouldn’t even be an option. In my opinion, I think Alistair Overeem is being highly underrated in this situation. I think Overeem can and will beat Fedor if that match is to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Overeem take the match, beat Fedor, and then walk to the UFC.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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