Chicago got a taste of something other than great food as Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko struck fast and struck hard in overcoming a badly cut nose and stopping America’s Brett Rogers on Saturday.
Once again Fedor showed why he’s considered the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world.
Before a rousing crowd at the Sears Centre, Fedor overcame a slow first round to slip into another gear behind his quick fists and knock out the bigger Rogers with a punch that was sent in lightning fashion.
Even boxers don’t deliver lead right hands like that in the heavyweight division.
The first round began with Rogers shooting a jab as Fedor attempted a roundhouse right and immediately blood flowed down the Russian fighter's face. Several times Rogers was taken down but was able to escape with his strength. A left hook by Fedor did a little damage but not enough to hurt the big American MMA fighter.
“The main thing is to not be nervous,” said Fedor. “I took some time to look for weaknesses.”
As the second round began the television announcer mentioned that Fedor had not experienced a second round in three years and right on cue the quick-footed and quick-fisted Russian fired a lead right hand as Rogers began to throw a left hook and blasted the American to the ground with a single blow. Down he went and Fedor jumped on the fallen fighter with several more blows forcing referee Big John McCarthy to halt the fight at 3:43 of the second round.
“I found a weak spot in his stance,” said Fedor in explaining how he beat Rogers to the punch for the knockout. “Brett is a great fighter.”
After the fight Rogers was still upset at the thought of losing.
“I hate it,” Rogers fumed. “I doubted myself a little bit.”
There’s no doubt that Fedor is the best MMA fighter in the world.
It looks like America will get another chance to see Fedor who now fights for Strikeforce-M-1 Global. CBS will probably show another card in 2010.
Shields vs. Miller
Jake Shields moved up from welterweight to middleweight and discovered that the extra weight can equal extra rounds especially against somebody crazy like Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Though he won a unanimous decision over Miller it was the most difficult victory he experienced in years.
Shields usually submits opponents within the first two rounds but Miller, who is generally overlooked because of his clownish behavior, is one of the better fighters in the 185-pound division. For every move Shields employed Miller had an antidote. But the crazy one just couldn’t mount enough offensive firepower to hurt Shields who was able to take down Miller.
In the third round Miller escaped yet another submission hold and was able to reverse it and turn it into a rear naked choke. But with only 17 seconds left he wasn’t able to choke out the choke out artist.
Shields took over from there and never allowed Miller to resort to a punching attack and kept him on the ground. All three judges gave Shields the victory and the Strikeforce middleweight title.
Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi had won 13 consecutive matches in one round until he ran into former UFC fighter Sokoudjou. Instead, he needed two rounds to batter the Cameroon fighter who fights out of Temecula, California at 3:43 of the round. At least it was exciting. Mousasi proved he was good punching, kicking and grappling and Sokoudjou found out as he was hammered while the fighter from the Netherlands rained blows while on top of him.
Fabricio Werdum surprisingly won over Antonio Silva by unanimous decision despite being ineffective for most of the first two rounds in a heavyweight contest between two Brazilians. Silva was able to punish Verdum in the first two rounds nearly stopping him with punches, but apparently the judges were busy looking somewhere else or forget who was who. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Werdum. Even the winner's corner looked surprised at the outcome.