Shamrock, CBS Announcers Answer Who Can Beat Fedor

By Loretta Hunt Oct 27, 2009
Undefeated heavyweight Brett Rogers will get the next crack at MMA’s top fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, at Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Rogers” on Nov. 7 in Hoffmann Estates, Ill., just outside Chicago.

CBS announcers Frank Shamrock, Mauro Ranallo, and Gus Johnson -- who’ll call the action for the event’s live “Saturday Night Fights” telecast on CBS at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT –- speculated what type of fighter will best the usually unflappable Emelianenko.

Frank Shamrock: The only guy I’ve ever saw hurt Fedor was a big 240-pound Japanese wrestler named (Kazuyuki) Fujita. He got him deceptively. Even though he was a wrestler, he pulled him into a punching game. (Fujita) had planned a strategy counter –- he saw a hole in Fedor’s punching game. I feel (Fedor) didn’t expect that.

I think really somebody with exceptional skill and ability, but with a deceptive or a feinting (strategy) could catch him.

Mauro Ranallo: Even with what Andrei Arlovski was doing in the first couple of minutes of his fight with Fedor, and that’s the key. Fedor is good in all facets of mixed martial arts and one of the keys to his success has been his adaptability on the fly, the ability to take his opponent’s strengths and use them against him.

I think a guy like Brett Rogers –- and again, not wanting to hype more then necessary –- but he does have the knockout power, the punching power. I think he needs to aggressively pursue Fedor, but also use his head –- almost like what (Mauricio) “Shogun” Rua did to (Lyoto) Machida over the weekend, in that you need to be patient. I know it’s an oxymoron, but it’s gotta be patient aggression.

I think the key is to wait for Fedor to make a mistake because everyone does in a fight. Nobody’s perfect. And like Frank said, if you can exploit those rare occurrences where he gives you an opportunity to slip in and land some strikes, because I think that’s the key. I don’t see Brett Rogers winning this fight if it goes to the ground. He really needs to push the pace and really wear down Fedor Emelianenko and I think his size may prove to be key if he is patient.

Gus Johnson: I think what Brett Rogers provides more than all the fights that I’ve seen with Fedor, and I had a chance to watch a lot of his fights last week, (including) the Fujita fight, and Fujita hit him with a fluky punch on the side of the head. I think Brett Rogers is the kind of fighter that not only is he big, he has feline quickness and he’s a big puncher with both hands. Also, I think his muay Thai skills, as we saw in the “Abongo” (Ron Humphrey) fight, is starting to improve. Word out of his camp is he’s out in California rolling with some guys, Josh Barnett (is) one of the guys he’s working with. He’s trying to work on trying to have his body be flexible enough if he gets caught in a heelhook or an ankle lock or if he’s in Fedor’s guard, his goal is to be able to just stand up because he does want to fight Fedor on his fight.

I think Brett Rogers is the kind of guy… he’s in his prime, his confidence is high, and his hunger level is incredible. He understands that if he beats Fedor, he stands in line to make a whole lot of money and change the lives of his family. Fighting outside of Chicago, which is his hometown, is going to be a great motivator for him and I think Brett Rogers is the kind of guy that can beat Fedor.
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