11-04-2009, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Basketball Capital of the World
From MMAWeekly.com (SparkNotes to follow):
Top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko makes his Strikeforce debut on Nov. 7 headlining against undefeated Brett Rogers at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
For Rogers itís an opportunity of a lifetime. A win over the highly regarded Emelianenko on CBS would skyrocket the hard-hitting Minnesotanís reputation and popularity.
For Emelianenko itís the chance to fight on network television in the United States and further solidify his legacy as ďThe Last Emperor.Ē
Can Rogers land the shot that ends Emelianenkoís seven year reign atop the heavyweight division? Will the Russian simply take Rogers down and submit him? Weíll know those answers on Nov. 7, but hereís a closer look at the match up.
The striking is not clear cut for either fighter. Nine of Rogersí ten wins are by technical knockout or knockout, and his one other victory came by way of submission due to strikes. If thereís one thing Rogers possesses, itís punching power. He will also enjoy a reach advantage.
Emelianenko also packs a punch, but the majority of his thirty victories were won by submission. Where Emelianenko has an edge in the striking department is experience. The 33-year old has competed against world class strikers, and nothing Rogers brings to the table standing will be out of the ordinary for the more seasoned Russian.
The grappling aspect of the match up clearly favors Emelianenko with his Sambo and Judo backgrounds and wealth of experience on the ground.
Rogersí ground game may be better than we know, but no one outside of his gym has seen it. If the fight hits the canvas, expect Rogers to immediately try to get back to his feet, and if he doesnít look for Emeliankenko to put on a grappling clinic.
Rogers may have the edge in this department due to being used to competing inside a cage with itís subtle differences from a ring, but it will be hard to control the action facing a more well-rounded opponent.
On paper, fighting inside a fence enclosed environment seems tailor made for Emelianenkoís ground and pound style. We just havenít seen him in a cage yet. His threat for a takedown and solid clinch game should be enough to dictate the pace.
Emelianenko has a proven track record for being able to go the distance. Heís competed in tournament formats having to fight twice in the same night. He was also accustomed to the ten minute first round system used by the Pride organization in Japan. His conditioning hasnít been a factor before and I wouldnít expect it to become an issue now.
Rogersí conditioning is somewhat unknown because he usually finishes his opponents in the first round. Heís only gone to the second round twice in his career, and hasnít had to put in a full seven minutes of work in a fight thus far, but that doesnít mean heís the less conditioned athlete.
Fedor gets the nod in conditioning because we have evidence that shows heís able to take bouts into the later rounds and not get fatigued. Rogers may be able to as well, but like his ground game, we just havenít seen it.
THE ďXĒ FACTOR
Pressure is not always a bad thing depending on how a person responds to it, and how Brett Rogers reacts to the bright lights and main stage stress could hamper or help him.
Fighting a legend who has a more well-rounded skill set and experience on his side could seem like a daunting task for Rogers, or it could have the opposite affect leaving the 28-year old heavyweight with a sense of nothing to lose.
This is the biggest fight of Brett Rogersí career. Heís fought on CBS and high profile fight cards before, but has not headlined one and certainly not gone up against someone like Emelianenko. Pressure could factor into the equation for Rogers.
On the flip side of the coin, Rogers isnít expected to win, so he may not feel any pressure at all heading into the cage at the Sears Centre on Nov. 7.
KEYS TO VICTORY
Rogers needs to keep the fight standing and not show Emelianenko too much respect. His best chance at victory is letting his powerful hands go, using his reach advantage to keep the smaller Emelianenko on the outside and look for the knockout.
If the fight finds itís way to the ground, Rogers has to avoid submissions and guard passes and get back to his feet as quickly as possible. In the clinch he needs to impose his size and strength on Fedor without falling victim to a throw.
Emelianenko has to be careful striking with Rogers, respect his punching power and not stand in front of him. Fedor can win a stand up fight with the younger Rogers but getting the fight to the canvas is the path of least resistance to successfully remaining the top heavyweight in the world.