Strikeforce Lessons: Everyone Cares More Than Fedor

Jun 28, 2010
On a night highlighted by an epic upset, some grisly thrashings and a suddenly topsy-turvy heavyweight division, there are some important lessons being lost amidst all the hyperbolic musings.

Read on for a sobering look at a night that sent the MMA world into hysterics.

Fedor Doesn’t Mind

After losing his spot atop the heavyweight mountain in 69 seconds to Fabricio Werdum, Emelianenko loafed around in the cage with an emotionless stare that was equal parts amusing and creepy. In his post-fight interview, he failed to betray even the slightest bit of emotion over a loss that sent the Sherdog servers into a tailspin.

In the short time since Werdum had his hand raised, I’ve read everything from elaborate conspiracy theories to calls for Emelianenko to drop a weight class. Throw in reports that Emelianenko had to console his own handlers after the fight, and it becomes obvious that the man at the center of this media firestorm couldn’t care less about the goings on of last Saturday night.

Hopefully this will finally crystallize what Emelianenko has said all along: that he is a sportsman who fights because it allows him to provide for his family. The legacy and mythology that has been constructed around him is something he is happy to leave in God’s hands, as he is so fond of saying. Just ask him.

Strikeforce Isn’t Built to Handle This

As soon as Emelianenko tapped out to Werdum’s picture-perfect triangle choke, it became painfully obvious that Strikeforce is not capable of handling anything that goes against their expectations.

The anticipated result was a one-sided win via curb-stomping for the pseudo-cyborg, and instead we’re all left wondering what exactly Strikeforce can do to resolve their heavyweight mess. Because the careers of Bobby Lashley and Shane del Rosario have been so thoroughly mishandled, there is no viable name that can be inserted into this new heavyweight triumvirate.

That leaves Strikeforce in a position where they’re going to disappoint at least one of their heavyweight stars and possibly pave the road for a departure to the UFC.

Santos Is Ahead of Her Time

The dearth of talent in the women’s 145-pound division has officially become a detriment to the legacy Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is building.

Watching Jan Finney -- a natural bantamweight -- get eaten alive for a seeming eternity highlighted that fact in violent fashion. Save for perhaps Erin Toughill, there isn’t a single compelling bout for Santos in the division that she now lords over.

The most disappointing part of that scenario is Strikeforce’s inability to even get Toughill in the cage.

Le Likes Cookies More Than Fighting

Cung Le is a solid fighter and a potentially entertaining addition to Strikeforce’s diverse middleweight division. The problem is that Le’s fans care more about that fact than he does.

You can’t make a 38-year-old part-time actor care about MMA and nor should you expect him to. The fact is that Le has a family to take care of, and no one should blame him if he’d rather eat cookies and make movies than absorb blunt force trauma for a living.

Just don’t expect me to put any faith in a guy moonlighting for extra cash.

Thomson Suffers from Poor Strategy

If MMA was all about talent, Josh Thomson would be an all-time lightweight by now. A rare combination of talent and technical skill, it’s hard to pick against Thomson until you realize he fights with the strategic acumen of a novice.

In his fight with Healy, it was obvious Thomson could run game on him all night, but his willingness to work from the guard forced an unnecessarily dramatic third round. Until Thomson starts preferring dominance to drama, he’ll never achieve the greatness that is right there for the taking.
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