No date or venue has been announced yet, but odds are that the Rogers-Emelianenko fight will go over much better in MMA fan circles than the rumored Vitor Belfort fight after Emelianenko’s Affliction opponent, Josh Barnett, tested for steroids and was forced to pull out of the fight.
“Grim” Rogers is currently 10-0 in his young MMA career and poses a threat to Emelianenko because of his size at 265+ pounds along with his heavy hands. Rogers used those hands to knock out their only common opponent, Andrei Arlovski, in just 22 seconds back in June.
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Emelianenko also scored a knockout of Arlovski in his last fight 3:14 into the first round of their match and is currently on a 27-fight win streak with an overall record of 30-1 in his illustrious career. He should come in at the 230-240 pound weight range for the fight which will leave him at a big size disadvantage, but Emelianenko has fought many other larger opponents in his career.
The big advantage for Fedor going into this one will likely be in grappling both standing and on the ground as he is a world-class sambo practitioner and one of the best submission artists in all of MMA. Rogers’ ground game is still a bit of an unknown at this point in his young career.
Rogers has also not faced anywhere near the competition that Fedor has, as Arlovski was the first big-name opponent he’s ever faced while Fedor has beaten the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Tim Sylvia, and more.
From an entertainment perspective, expect plenty of fireworks in this one. Both fighters have heavy hands and are extremely aggressive, constantly looking to finish each fight they’re in.
If Strikeforce plays their cards right and pairs this fight with some other quality matchups like perhaps the Mayhem Miller vs. Jake Shields interim middleweight title bout, they just might have a pay-per-view quality card on their hands or maybe even a network TV debut for Emelianenko if they choose to go that route and perhaps negotiate with CBS or another network.
Stay with BetUS.com for lines on the Fedor vs. Rogers fight in the coming weeks as Strikeforce continues to put together what will be their biggest and most-anticipated card to date