Sports

The Full Mount – MMA News for the week ending 11/7/09

Welcome to my new, weekly article for the Camel-Clutch Blog. Every week, I’ll fill this article full of all of the big mixed-martial arts news, rumors, upcoming cards, results and predictions. MMA is a passion of mine and has passed professional wrestling years ago as something that I follow 24/7. Enjoy “The Full Mount,” second edition; or as you will see, should maybe be known as the Strikeforce edition.

The Shot Heard Round the World

The big news of the week is undoubtedly the sickening knockout that Fedor Emelianenko delivered to Brett Rogers during Saturday night’s Strikeforce special on CBS. Fedor’s debut with an American organization ended up being exactly what expected. Casual MMA fans have always heard about the guy who had been called the best pound-for-pound mixed-martial artist in the world. That guy has earned the reputation as being able to take a beating and still win a fight in devastating fashion. That was last night’s tale; word-for-word.

Brett Rogers impressed a lot of people in this fight, myself included. We all knew that Rogers had heavy hands and a history of knocking out his opponents. In fact, he’s knocked his opponents out in nine of his ten matches. Brett Rogers had Fedor on the ropes in round 1. His very first jab of the fight broke Fedor’s nose. He also caught Fedor with a flush right hook midway through the round. Rogers even had a dominant ground-and-pound position on Fedor. Rogers won round 1. For whatever reason, Rogers came out looking much different in round 2. He looked hesitant. He backed away from his game plan. As Fedor mentioned in his post-fight interview, Rogers stopped pressing forward. Instead, he started taking baby-steps and lowered his hands. You can make that mistake against Andrei Arlovski, but not against the best fighter in the world. Fedor lunged forward with w highlight-reel straight right hand that caught Rogers on the button. This was a punch that produced a sickening thud. It was a shot that made you know that the fight would be over. If you weren’t a believer of Fedor before, you are now.

Taking a Slice out of the Ratings

Saturdays Strikeforce averaged 3.79 million viewers. This included a very impressive 1.7/6 rating share among the 18-49 demographic. The 1.7/6 share is triple the average number for CBS during that weekly time. Both numbers are below both of Kimbo Slice’s EliteXC on CBS battles. This cannot be viewed as a positive for Strikeforce when the best fighter on the planet can’t out-rate a YouTube street fighting legend. Why could this be?

Well, for one, a show on free, national television should naturally attract more casual MMA fans. That’s the whole reason for the CBS/MMA experiment. In order for Strikeforce to achieve the popularity and success of the UFC, they’re going to need to lure in casual and new MMA fans. These types of fans may just not know who Fedor Emelianenko or Brett Rogers are. Kimbo Slice gained fame on the internet. Many people who were not into MMA probably caught sight of a Kimbo Slice street fight or two at one point. It makes me wonder aloud if the addition of Gina Carano to this card would have pushed it above in the ratings race. My money says that, prior to Fedor’s knockout of Rogers, Carano would have been a bigger draw amongst the exact type of fans that they were targeting.

What’s Next for Strikeforce?

A Fedor Emelianenko/Fabricio Werdum fight is in the works. Also, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated that within the next 7-10 days, they will sign two top free-agent heavyweights. Andrei Arlovski and Bobby Lashley, anyone?
Strikeforce Fedor vs Rogers Review

In my predictions last week, I chose the winners of the four main bouts to be Fedor Emelianenko, Jake Shields, Gegard Mousasi, and Antonio Silva. I went an impressive 3-1 with these picks. My lone incorrect choice was Antonio Silva, who lost via decision to Fabricio Werdum. Of course, I believe that Silva won this match 29-28. The three judges that count, however, disagreed.

Brock Lesnar/Shane Carwin Postponed Again

The Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin matchup originally scheduled for UFC 106 but postponed for UFC 108 is now postponed once again. This time, however, no new date has been announced. Lesnar has been stricken with mononucleosis and is unable to train at all. It is unknown at this time how long he will be on the sidelines. My guess is that this fight ends up at UFC 109 in February, 2009. This leaves the UFC year-end card now without a main event. The original card called for Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort to battle it out for the Middleweight title, but that match has been postponed as well due to Silva’s behind-schedule rehab from elbow surgery. Historically, the end of the year show has always been UFC’s biggest. As of now, Cain Velasquez/Big Nog and Rashad Evans/Thiago Silva will head this card. With injuries and A-Team movies throwing wrench after wrench into the UFC’s fight plans, who knows what they can put together to headline this card. I believe one such change could simply be to make the winner of the Velasquez-Nogueira match the interim Heavyweight Champion; thus, the winner of this match fighting the winner of Lesnar-Carwin.

UFC 105 Predictions

Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera
Prediction: Brandon Vera via TKO (Yes, you read that right.)

Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy
Prediction: Mike Swick via Decision

Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang
Prediction: Michael Bisping via TKO

James Wilks vs. Matt Brown
Prediction: James Wilks via Submission

Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley
Prediction: Ross Pearson via Decision

I hope you enjoyed the second edition of ‘The Full Mount”. If you have any questions that you would like answered in the next edition, please e-mail me at [email protected]. Thanks.

Brett is 26 years old and from Millville, NJ. He has is a life-log fan of the Philadelphia sports teams as well as the Boston red Sox and Cincinnati Bengals. Brett is also a big fan of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. If you would like to comment on one of his stories, please e-mail him at [email protected]

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