Red Ink: Emelianenko vs. Rogers

By Jake Rossen Nov 7, 2009
The Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club monolith is known for stocking virtually everything anyone could possibly want: paper towels, dress socks, and even coffins. And if you need someone to try and beat Fedor Emelianenko, by God, they’ve got one of those, too.

Up until this past spring, Brett Rogers was working in an Illinois Sam’s Club tire department, changing radials and likely getting a slight buzz from the stacks of rubber piled around him. Beating Andrei Arlovski in June has kept him from any job but training: 10-0, he’ll attempt to spin a heavy set of hands in his favor.

Emelianenko has been threatened with paper analysis before: against 6’10” Tim Sylvia, he was expected to be eating jabs; against Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, expected to be dazed by sharp, precise striking; against Antonio Nogueira, possibly submitted.

The moral is that Emelianenko has had answers for virtually every kind of style he’s been matched against, and with few exceptions -- moments of humanity against Kazuyuki Fujita and Andrei Arlovski -- he’s barely looked bothered doing it.

Prior to Arlovski, Rogers had faced fighters who would have had trouble headlining a King of the Cage event. He has only a fraction of Emelianenko’s ring time and has displayed no indication of a rounded mixed martial arts game. Hitting exceptionally hard is valuable, but it only takes you so far. It got Rogers in this cage, but it might not be enough to get him out in the same shape.

Wild Card: Emelianenko’s debut in a caged fighting area: all 31 of his bouts have been contested in a ring. Against the ropes, you can lean your head back to evade strikes; you can also make life more difficult for wrestlers to trap you. There’s no give to the fence.

Might Look Like: Emelianenko vs. any number of hyper-aggressive opponents, with Emelianenko refusing to let Rogers think about offense by beating him to the punch.

Who Wins: Rogers could pull it off, but picking him isn’t based on any statistical support. If he’s in trouble on the feet, he won’t fare any better on the ground; if Emelianenko finds himself losing a fistfight, he has other options. Emelianenko by submission.
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