You don’t know much about mixed martial arts?
Saturday is your big chance to see the best in the business when Fedor Emelianenko of Russia accepts the challenge of America’s undefeated Brett Rogers on Saturday night.
You won’t have to pay a nickel to watch it on CBS at 9 p.m. Or you can buy a ticket and see it at the Sears Centre in Chicago.
Emelianenko (30-1) fights America’s big hard-hitting Rogers (10-0) on a Strikeforce fight card. Another great fight pits Jake Shields against Jason “Mayhem” Miller in a middleweight clash.
First, let’s look at Fedor.
The soft-looking Russian is anything but soft when he enters the ring or cage. With his knowledge of Sambo, a Russian commando style of fighting, and his uncanny combination of strength and speed, he’s blitzed through American competition throughout his career.
Some people even call him inhuman.
“I’m a human being,” said Emelianenko during a telephone press conference on Monday.
Not to his former opponents.
“He’s not human,” said Tim Sylvia the former UFC heavyweight champion who was overwhelmed by the Russian expert a few years back in Anaheim.
When Andrei Arlovski met Emelianenko last year he seemed to be doing pretty good under the guidance of boxing trainer Freddie Roach. Then that former UFC heavyweight champion attempted a kick and was caught and brutalized in seconds.
Several months ago that same Arlovski met Rogers in a televised match and was knocked cold by the American who fights out of Minnesota. Emelianenko was in the crowd that night and got a first row glimpse of the quick ending.
“I watched the fight and I know Brett is a very strong and serious opponent, but I try not to think about that,” said Emelianenko. “I simply train the way I normally do.”
Rogers may not have the MMA experience that Emelianenko possesses but he has one-punch knockout power and that’s one key weapon for someone facing the best MMA fighter in the world.
“My striking techniques doesn’t depend on where the fight takes place whether in the ring or in the cage,” said Rogers. “This is definitely a challenge for me and I’m prepared for it. Coming from nothing and being something. That’s where I get my confidence. This is me, this is my life.”
This is also Emelianenko’s life and he’s the best. Will this be the day he loses or will it be just another notch on his belt?
The last time I saw the Russian fighter doing his thing he displayed a combination with speed and power I hadn’t seen since the days of a young Mike Tyson. Yes, this guy is that fast and powerful.
Don’t miss this fight. It’s free too. You can’t beat that.
Shields vs. Miller
The semi-main event features Northern California’s Shields (23-4-1) going against Temecula’s Miller (22-6). It’s another interesting match.
Shields is a Brazilian jujitsu expert who despite going in with a size disadvantage is bound to be dangerous. Miller is a crackpot MMA fighter with a goofy sense of humor but a serious go-for-broke style that surprises those who take him lightly. He’s always beating fighters that he’s not supposed to beat. And finally, he gets a crack at a world title.
“It is such an honor to be fighting Jake Shields for the title,” said Miller who is no shrinking violet. “It’s awesome that Fedor is on the under card.”
Shields feels the same.
“I’m very excited to be part of this card, he is a great opponent. It will be a great fight for the fans. It’s great exposure,” said Shields, who is the former Elite XC welterweight champion. “I think Strikeforce is the right people to bring MMA to the people.”
Both Miller and Shields are considered among the top MMA fighters below 200 pounds and because they don’t fight for UFC, they’re not getting recognition. But on Saturday that could all change.
“It’s real important to us that this fight is really successful,” said Shields.
Most regular MMA fans are unaware of any fights outside of UFC. So this is a huge opportunity for a fight card not under the big dog to finally attract a mainstream audience.
Yes, MMA is not just UFC.
Most people don’t realize that the world of MMA is like a traveling circus. There are many circuses in the world but most only know Ringling Bros. It’s the same in MMA with most of the world only knowledgeable of UFC, but not others like Strikeforce/M-1 Global, and smaller companies like King of the Cage.