It would have been hard for CBS to expect a better show...and yet.
FABRICIO WERDUM v. ANTONIO SILVA - I totally agreed with 29-28 Werdum. C'mon Frank, be a man and score a round, wouldja?
GEGARD MOUSASI v. SOKODJOU - Sokodjou actually did a pretty good job right up until he got his face pounded in very much. I thought Mousasi looked much more awesome last time, but a win's a win.
JASON MILLER v. JAKE SHIELDS - Having not seen Miller before, I sure didn't get much out of tonight - maybe almost getting knocked out by a dancer during that "entrance" threw him. (Awful) commentators suggested he was biding his time until rounds 4 & 5, and then when they came and he failed to flip the switch - oh, man, this got tedious. And then we were left with what might have been if Shields hadn't been saved by the bell. I agreed with 49-46. No controversial judging was nice and/or lucky.
Something like 25 minutes of commercials followed, and I think we missed the entrances of the two men in the main event in here. I realise that CBS has gotta pay the bills so we can see this PPV-quality event for free, but COME ON.
FEDOR EMELIANENKO v. BRETT ROGERS - OH MY GOD. Really, really spectacular match. Rogers broke Fedor's nose with the first punch, but Fedor stayed calm and survived the first round. As impressive as the big punch was in the second which led to Fedor finishing him, he landed a punch in the FIRST round which made me go OHHHHHH even louder. Although he was made to look human, for a while anyway, there's still something to believing the hype about Fedor.
The people who are adamant that Lesnar could beat him don't deserve outright dismissal, but I think you can still kinda snicker at 'em.
I don't know that the rematch would be any different. Rogers' constant stream of obscenities postmatch (obliterating my attempts to make fun of Fedor's Russian voice because CBS kept muting the feed) really seemed to belie a mental toughness was lacking that he needed and would need in order to take over and win a match with him. Of course, now that he's tasted defeat, it might help him to GET mentally tough for the rematch. On the third hand, what are the odds he'll break Fedor's nose the next time? If Fedor is able to breathe, NOT through his mouth...
Still, CBS needs: At least one commentator who knows ANYTHING about MMA (or can make fun of Mauro Ranallo) A director who can choose the camera shot that isn't giving us a high definition screen full of Big John McCarthy's Big Ass and Fanny pack - repeatedly And it wouldn't have killed them to have a few more post-match interviews after the undercard matches - or any To air this thing live on BOTH coasts....seriously, this is a SPORT, air it LIVE like you do with all your other sports. Highlights from the prelims - it was almost WEIRD to not get a women's match on the air tonight
All in all, it'll be fun to watch Strikeforce right until they go bankrupt. Hey, a little like it was with ProElite, actually!
I was hoping for a little pre-match promo video for Fedor/Rogers like we got for Miller/Shields. Instead, us on the west coast also got that ridiculous 25 minute commercial-thon that removed most of the momentum for me. I kept flashing back to the Monday Night Wars and figured it meant the fight was going to last about 25 seconds, since "Let's Get It On!" occurred at the top of the hour.
And I'm relatively new to MMA, but would the main event have been stopped so quickly had it been on PPV or cable? Seemed like Rogers was still defending himself a bit. I mean, I think the fight was basically over at that point, but it looked a little like the ref was told to make sure no one ended up unconscious on network tv.
I am one of those idiots who thinks Lesnar could beat Fedor, but I cannot more strongly emphasize could, there, and I'd agree with Fedor as the heavy favorite. The biggest thing Rogers proved was that a bigger, stronger dude who actually knows how to use his weight (i.e., not Tim, or Choi, or Hunt, or, god forbid, Zulu) can push Fedor around a little--'cause however you slice it, Rogers did sweep him, and he sure as heck didn't do it with technique. I pray to whatever gods there are that watch over dudes punching each other for money that before he retires, Fedor fights Alistair Overeem and Brock Lesnar--and for good measure, throw in Fabricio Werdum and Randy Couture. Then all the questions will have been answered. Well, except for Josh Barnett, but Barnett kind of screwed the pooch all by himself, there, so what can you do.
Shields/Miller was...distressingly predictable. Miller is one of the hardest guys in the world to submit, but his wrestling sucks; Shields is one of the best wrestler/grapplers, but his striking sucks. What we saw was the pretty academic result. The biggest surprise was that near-sub by Miller, but outside of that, nothing. I imagine Scott Coker was not happy to hear Shields' official crowning get drowned out by the crowd booing.
I was so happy for Sokoudjou, seeing him actually look competitive in a fight against competition again. The dude is a poster child for pieces not quite fitting together: he's in ridiculous shape, he's a US judo champion, he hits like a god damned bullet train and being all of 25 he's got a world of time to improve, but he seems to have a switch in his head that picks a certain point to simply flip and make him quit. The moment Mousasi got him on his back and landed a punch, Sokoudjou just kind of stopped putting up intelligent resistance, and then it was over. Mousasi's the man, not taking anything at all away from him, the dude is an incredible talent and I can't imagine what he'll accomplish in the sport. But Sokoudjou just doesn't seem to have his head in it completely, and I am terribly intrigued by the prospect of what he could be if he did.
Strikeforce's title picture is pretty messed up, though. Their heavyweight champion has been AWOL for going on three years, their light-heavyweight champion made his big-screen debut by not actually defending the title for no apparent reason, their middleweight champion is a guy very few people want to watch, the guy they want to tag as their welterweight champion (that being Nick Diaz) can't actually get fights due to his pot habit, they've two different lightweight champions, the primary of whom can't stay healthy long enough to fight, and their women's champion is a queen without a kingdom (queendom?), as her built-up challengers are Marloes Coenen, whose one-minute fight didn't make it onto a broadcast with a 20-minute commercial segment, and...uh...I guess Gina again, someday. The worst thing an MMA organization can do advertising-wise is not set up champions and challengers people actually care about, and if Strikeforce really wants to grow into the big deal they try to be, they're going to have to work on that fast.
It was a good first show, and I really hope they can build on it. More competition is always good.
I was flipping between this and the Sengoku 11 replay on HDNet, so I didn't see all of this. Actually, let's be honest: I watched some of Mousasi vs Soukoudjou and all of Fedor vs. Rogers and skipped the rest (hey, there was better action with better production on another channel, whaddya want?). Ironically enough, the main event on that card (Hioki vs Ogiyama) fell victim to a North American-style terrible decision.
From what I heard, the Miller fight was all Miller fights: he got beat on until he pulled something too little, too late that never quite got him the win. I also feel for Soukoudjou but actually didn't expect him to look quite so good againt Mousasi, so that was a pleasant surprise. I, too, hope he figures out the killer instinct bit (he's only 25. 25!!).
I don't engage in the Fedor/Brock argument any more. The folks who continue to favor Brock in that argument are the same type who will find an excuse for their man if the fight happens and he loses. Nobody ever said Brock doesn't have a chance; if he comes in with the perfect gameplan and has some luck, he could very well win that fight. But if the two fought 100 times I'm betting on Fedor to win 90+.
Frankly I think the more interesting fight for Fedor is Overeem.
I guess I'll throw in my two cents on the Fedor/Lesnar thing as well.
I've watched pretty much every Fedor fight of the last seven years, except for one or two of the freak show fights from Japan. And I think he's the best heavyweight fighter in the world, though the margin is much narrower than it used to be.
That said, Lesnar would be a very good opponent for Fedor, and it would not surprise me at all if they fought and Lesnar won, especially with Fedor not seeming as comfortable in the cage. There are significant differences to fighting in a ring as Fedor has always done to fighting with the cage. If Rogers had more stamina last night he could have taken more advantage of that fact.
Lesnar is essentially everything you would want in a Fedor opponent except for a strong BJJ background. Strong enough to move Fedor around, heavy handed enough to land damaging strikes, good enough wrestler to go to the ground with Fedor. The question would be what would Lesnar be able to do against the relentless submission attempts of Fedor? And that alone would make me set Fedor as a favorite. But honestly, anyone who would look at that fight and set it as more than 2:1 to either fighter is someone I want as my neighborhood bookmaker.
I'm still not feeling the Overeem love. Unless he has improved by light years since the middle of the decade I just don't see him having a hope against Fedor.
Originally posted by spf I'm still not feeling the Overeem love. Unless he has improved by light years since the middle of the decade I just don't see him having a hope against Fedor.
This is a completely understandable point of view, but that's why people are interested in it: from all indications, he has. Overeem's fights at 205 always went the same way: for the first two minutes or so of the fight, he was the best guy in the world and he'd beat his opponent's ass. Outstruck Liddell, Rogerio and Shogun, grappled with Werdum, choked out Vovchanchyn, etc. But if you outlasted that early rush, he pretty much broke into a pile of gassed hopelessness and you eventually crushed him. To solve this he stopped cutting the 20 pounds down to 205, bulked up on horse meat (read as: debatably steroids), and since then has seemingly imnproved by leaps and bounds.
Where in 2007 he would gas, run away and get his face punched in by a chubby Sergei Kharitonov, he now is a Brock-size 250-260 pounds of ridiculous muscle, and has been fighting over in K-1, where in just three kickboxing fights he's knocked their heavyweight champion the fuck out, lost an extremely screwy decision to their 2008 World Grand Prix champion, and taken a hugely lopsided decision over their best of all time.
In short: he's gone from a lopsided light-heavyweight who can't go two rounds with Bobby Hoffman to an enormous and intimidating heavyweight kickboxer with considerable cardio. He's got good technical striking, he's powerful as hell, and he's good on the ground, and that's why folks want to see him fight Fedor.
Fun night. Even Miller v Shields was pretty fun for three rounds (after which Shields dominated position but hardly did anything to try and finish the fight) and the main event was awesome. Fedor's willingness to stand and trade with Rogers was probably equal parts impressive and foolish but made for great entertainment.
Originally posted by CRZStill, CBS needs: At least one commentator who knows ANYTHING about MMA (or can make fun of Mauro Ranallo) A director who can choose the camera shot that isn't giving us a high definition screen full of Big John McCarthy's Big Ass and Fanny pack - repeatedly
A thousand times, yes.
Originally posted by CarlCXI was so happy for Sokoudjou, seeing him actually look competitive in a fight against competition again.
Agreed. I've nothing but love for Soko, but something just isn't quite there with him. I think he could do with taking a few successive fights against top 20 (but not top 5-10) guys to improve his skills and get some confidence. Fighting Bob Sapps might be good for the bank balance, but not for career advancement and while he did well against Mousasi he just isn't on his level right now.
Originally posted by CarlCXhowever you slice it, Rogers did sweep him, and he sure as heck didn't do it with technique.
Little harsh on Brett. His ground game was actually pretty decent. Fedor went for a Kimura and Rogers took the chance to get on top, then when he was ground and pounding him (with some pretty vicious shots) Fedor went for an armbar and Brett got out of it handily.
I thought Brett showed he had a lot more to him than most thought, and at only 28 he could go on to be a force if he has the desire. Not sure who he fights next though. Arlovski fancies a rematch apparently, but that makes far more sense for Andrei than it does for Brett.
Originally posted by CarlCXStrikeforce's title picture is pretty messed up, though.
That's putting it kindly, though in fairness it'll only be two years next Monday (16 Nov) since Overeem won the HW title. Depth at LHW seems to be a particular problem. I'd watch King Mo v Mousasi any time they want, but after that there ain't much. They're OK at HW though, and the talent sharing with DREAM might help them get depth in the lighter divisions so all is not lost.
Originally posted by spfI think he's the best heavyweight fighter in the world, though the margin is much narrower than it used to be.
I think there's a deeper pool of fighters who would make viable opponents for Fedor, but I wouldn't say the gap between them and Fedor is any narrower.
Originally posted by spfLesnar would be a very good opponent for Fedor, and it would not surprise me at all if they fought and Lesnar won, especially with Fedor not seeming as comfortable in the cage. There are significant differences to fighting in a ring as Fedor has always done to fighting with the cage. If Rogers had more stamina last night he could have taken more advantage of that fact.
I wouldn't say Fedor had much problem with the cage. He just kinda stood there with his standard look of boredom, took little punishment while there, then shrugged Brett off. As for Brett's stamina, I didn't think it was an issue. If anything, he looked like he was starting to believe in himself and get up on his toes in the 2nd....right around the time he got caught.
Originally posted by spfStrong enough to move Fedor around, heavy handed enough to land damaging strikes, good enough wrestler to go to the ground with Fedor.
Fedor's striking, while unconventional, is vastly superior to Brock's and Brock's hands aren't any heavier than Fedor has seen before. If it stayed standing, Fedor would win the overwhelming majority of the time. Brock's best hope would obviously be to shoot for a takedown, but Fedor's takedown defence is awesome, and get busy with the ground-and-pound, but at that point Fedor probably takes an arm home with him.
Brock absolutely could win but it's very unlikely. If he gets wins over two or three top guys in the next year or so then I reserve the right to change my opinion, but right now I haven't seen anything that makes me think Brock wouldn't lose eight times out of ten.
Originally posted by dMrThat's putting it kindly, though in fairness it'll only be two years next Monday (16 Nov) since Overeem won the HW title. Depth at LHW seems to be a particular problem. I'd watch King Mo v Mousasi any time they want, but after that there ain't much. They're OK at HW though, and the talent sharing with DREAM might help them get depth in the lighter divisions so all is not lost.
Yeah, my brain being wrong on the years since Overeem won the belt, there. This is why I should post after I sleep rather than before. I dunno that I see the heavyweight outlook as rosy as you do, though--at least, not so long as Fedor's eventually the champ. Fedor's already crushed Arlovski and Rogers; in terms of top heavyweights in Strikeforce, on their current roster that leaves Overeem if they can get him to fight, Werdum, and...uh...well, that's sort of it, actually. In terms of spectacle fights, they could put him up against Roger Gracie or, if they can get him to agree to it, Bobby Lashley, but neither are exactly credible as far as competition goes. In a way, they're better off if Overeem does come back and miraculously whup Fedor, because that gives them a lot of fights to work with.
However, it sounds like we're going to be waiting awhile to figure out anything at all about what's going to happen, because apparently Fedor broke his nose, his thumb and a tendon or somesuch, and is out of action for 4-6 months. Along with this, Scott Coker noted that if Overeem didn't defend his title by the first quarter of the new year, they were going to cut him loose.
So who the hell knows. It's possible they'll go for Overeem/Rogers like both guys have been talking about for awhile, or alternately, Overeem/Werdum. Time's going to tell.
Originally posted by CarlCX I dunno that I see the heavyweight outlook as rosy as you do, though--at least, not so long as Fedor's eventually the champ. Fedor's already crushed Arlovski and Rogers; in terms of top heavyweights in Strikeforce, on their current roster that leaves Overeem if they can get him to fight, Werdum, and...uh...well, that's sort of it, actually.
Yeah, after Overeem and Werdum there isn't much just now, but I figure there isn't much point trying to figure out what the HW picture'll look like too far into the future because something unexpected almost always happens in that division.
In a way Fedor being out for 4-6 months could help because that lay-off plus time for fights against Werdum and Overeem would give them over a year to have a new challenger come through.
Maybe Lashley wins a couple fights and proves he's actually for real, or Rogers goes and KTFOs Bigfoot and Werdum and gets himself back in contention, or maybe someone we haven't even considered comes through. I'm also in a minority of not very many that thinks Arlovski is still a top heavyweight so that skews how I view things a bit as well.
Of course, the other possibility is that "maybe Fedor buggers off elsewhere". His deal with Strikeforce only runs three fights so Werdum and Overeem would take care of that. Last I heard his M1 deal allegedly only has two fights left too, but I suspect he has stronger ties to them.
Short-term I just want to see the new, freaky Overeem defend his damn title already. As much as I enjoy watching him take names in K1 and crush cans in DREAM, I'd *really* rather see him fight some top MMA competition. Sooner the better.
Group G is the clear 'group of death' winner of this World Cup but Groups B and D are beasts as well. Group C is also fascinating, as you could argue for just about any final finishing order for those four teams.