We're roughly a month away from the Strikeforce debut of Fedor Emelianenko on CBS and the spectator speculation is already underway.
On November 7, the consensus top heavyweight in the sport today and one of the greatest fighters in the history of Mixed Martial Arts will set foot inside a cage for the first time against undefeated rising star Brett "The Grim" Rogers.
While I certainly still maintain my contention that this is a bad match-up for Strikeforce to have put together for the debut of the multi-million dollar acquisition, only one question really matters:
Do You Really Think Brett Rogers is Going to Beat Fedor?
If you answer yes to this question, you obviously haven't been paying attention for the last, let's see, nine and a half years.
While Rogers certainly has the power to drop anyone he faces, we're talking about Fedor Emelianenko.
For my money, the guy has never lost. Even taking his 2001 "defeat" against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka into account, "The Last Emperor" is riding a ridiculous eight year undefeated streak, during which time he has amassed 25 wins and one No Contest.
The last time Fedor suffered a loss, the Red Sox were still under the Curse of the Bambino, the New England Patriots "dynasty" hadn't even started and Angelina Jolie was just starting to get noticed as a talented actress after winning an Oscar and sucking face with her brother.
Not to take anything away from Brett Rogers; the guy has been awful impressive in his brief career and his 22 second destruction of Andrei Arlovski was certainly impressive, but do you really think that a guy who has been fighting professionally for all of three years and change is going to dethrone the reigning king of the heavyweight division?
There is nothing Rogers brings to the cage that Fedor hasn't faced before. He's defeated bigger men, faster men and men who are equally as strong as "The Grim," in addition to having built his name handing out losses to the best in the business during his time as Pride Heavyweight Champion.
Rogers has one noteworthy win, his upset of Arlovski back in June. Now check the list of fighters who have fallen to Fedor:
Mark Coleman (twice)
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice, with one No Contest)
Renato "Babalu" Sobral
Despite the many times I have questioned Emelianenko's marginal wins over the last few years, defeating "fighters" like Hong Man Choi and Zuluzinho, there is no question that during his heyday in Pride, "The Last Emperor" ruled with an iron fist, underrated ground game and aura of domination that left many opponents defeated before they stepped in the ring.
Many times when I'm breaking down fights and comparing competitors, the bigger, stronger, faster and younger of the two gets the edge in my books; this is not one of those times.
Despite all those adjectives applying directly to Rogers, save for maybe faster, I once again remind you that we're talking about Fedor Emelianenko here. He hasn't gone undefeated over the last eight years through luck and weak opponents.
While it will be interesting to see how Fedor operates in his first foray into a cage after years spent working in a ring, the guy has put together a record of 30-1 by being unable to adapt.
Brett Rogers has an exceptionally bright future in this sport and would shock the world if he manages to come away from Chicago with a victory.
But we're talking about Fedor Emelianenko here people.
Plain and simple: the guy does not lose.