Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fedor's Future

I forgot I had a blog. A random comment just appeared needing moderated and there it was: a blog. With existing content even. I figured that after I let my FTP server die that the blog was gone but blogspot kept it alive.

Fortunately I have something to write about...

I like MMA. I follow it largely because I don't have the time to commit to monitoring some of the other sports I enjoy. With MMA it's a matter of checking a few news feeds and betting lines and watching an occasional fight (fortunately they rarely go the distance).

The world of MMA changed this past weekend when Fedor lost for the first time in nearly a decade. Of course, many people said "it's about time" and "he's overrated". Personally, I was excited by the loss because it makes Fedor interesting as a fighter again. It's no longer about when he'll lose; it's about how he will compete. And that's exciting. I enjoy watching Fedor fight. His battles with Nogueira and Cro Cop were some of the best MMA ever and they went the distance. Seeing Fedor KO someone within three minutes is barely entertaining.

There are a few matchups that I want to see. I'll assume that Fedor stays in Strikeforce and extends his contract.

Fedor vs. Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva. Silva is under-rated. The guy is big and has mad skillz. He got the decision over a very determined Arlovski and went the distance against Werdum in one of the year's most entertaining bouts. A win over Silva would demonstrate that Fedor is done and that Werdum's victory over Fedor was not a fluke. A win for Fedor would show that he has the chops to compete against some of the UFC jumbo fighters (e.g., Lesnar and Carwin).

Werdum vs. Overeem. Werdum beat Fedor and Overeem is the champ. This fight makes more sense than a Werdum/Fedor rematch. It's also a very interesting matchup in terms of style. Overeem certainly has some good submissions but he prefers to strike (as demonstrated by his K1 performance) and submit from the clinch. Werdum has some decent striking as demonstrated against Silva but his BJJ is obviously pretty slick. And of course, Werdum already has a win over Overeem when we wasn't a real heavyweight.

The outcome of these two matches gives us some interesting outcomes.

Fedor vs. Overeem for the HW championship. This is the fight that everyone was expecting and didn't happen. Some -- including Overeem -- claim that Fedor was ducking the fight. Fedor's management team may, however, have had some concerns regarding Overeem's rather sudden mass gain and the possibility of him testing positive for anabolic steroids. They may have learned a thing or two from Josh Barnett...

Fedor vs. Werdum for the HW championship. The rematch. Cool.

Silva vs. Overeem for the HW championship. This fight could be the Strikeforce answer to UFC 116: two giants going at it. Of course, these particular giants will appeal more to Japanese and European fans due to the focus on striking and submissions (as compared to wrestling and GnP).

Silva vs. Werdum for the HW championship. Another rematch. Cool.

And after these matches we might have some other interesting talent within Strikeforce with Lashley, Kharitonov, Rogers, etc.