The Fedor Emelianenko saga has finally come to a close. After numerous failed attempts by the UFC to sign the Russian fighter, it was announced Monday that Emelianenko had signed a multi-fight deal with the California promotion Strikeforce. When news hit that Strikeforce was in the mix and willing to co-promote, there was little doubt where he would end up. With the UFC ruled out and little to no heavyweight competition in Japan, Strikeforce was really the only choice Emelianenko had and the option that suited his interests best.
Despite not possessing a talent pool as deep as the UFC’s, Strikeforce will be able to offer up the likes of Allistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers. Although a title fight had originally been set up between Overeem and Werdum before Overeem was forced to drop out due to injury, it’s quite possible Emelianenko could get now get the title shot. If no,t then expect his debut to be against young up and comer Brett Rogers who is coming off a devastating knockout of Andrei Arlovski. Fedor’s first fight should be this fall in co-promoted event on Showtime.
With appearances on Showtime and possibly CBS, Fedor’s popularity could grow among casual fans, although this will only increase the number of people who are waiting to see him in the UFC. For now we’ll just have to wait and see happens. Fedor isn’t getting any younger and the opportunity to see the #1 heavyweight in the world fight in the world’s premier organization while he’s still on his prime may have just passed fans by.