Fedor Emelianenko Prepares For Brett RogersHeading into the biggest event in Strikeforce history, MMARising.com previews the televised portion of Saturday’s CBS-broadcasted Strikeforce: “Fedor vs Rogers” card in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, which is headlined by a heavyweight blockbuster between “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko and Brett “The Grim” Rogers.

The promotion will showcase many of its top talents on the debut CBS card and will look to draw a sizable mainstream audience on primetime television. MMARising.com will be on-site for the event.


Easily the biggest event in the promotion’s history – surpassing even the historic “Shamrock vs Gracie” card from March of 2006 – Strikeforce will air on primetime CBS television for the first time with “Fedor vs Rogers” on Saturday and they are pulling out all the stops to ensure success.


“The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko vs Brett “The Grim” Rogers

The event is headlined by a heavyweight tilt between #1-ranked former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion and current WAMMA Unified Heavyweight Champion “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-0, 1 NC) and undefeated knockout artist Brett “The Grim” Rogers (10-0-0).

Emelianenko’s résumé speaks for itself. With the lone blemishes coming in a controversial loss from a cut caused by an illegal elbow strike from Tsuyoshi Kosaka and a No Contest due to an accidental head butt against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Emelianenko has otherwise had his way with the heavyweight division for close to a decade.

Rogers does not have the same sort of mystique as Emelianenko and is not yet ready for terms like “legend,” but he has yet to taste defeat in his career and has stopped all ten of his opponents thus far. With nine knockouts and one submission win due to strikes, Rogers’s game plan is straightforward.

If the fight goes to the ground, Emelianenko should have little trouble in submitting his larger opponent within a matter of seconds, but if Rogers is able to keep the fight standing and lands that one knockout punch, the worldwide viewing audience could be in for a shock as they witness one of the biggest upsets in the history of mixed martial arts.

With Emelianenko as the overwhelming favourite, Rogers has little to lose and everything to gain, but Emelianenko has battled through adversity before and will be looking to showcase exactly why he is the best in the world when he debuts on North American network television.

Unless Rogers can connect with one of his granite lefts or rights in the opening seconds, Emelianenko will end the fight with a first-round armbar that sets up a showdown with Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem in 2010.


Jake Shields vs Jason “Mayhem” Miller

After former champion Cune Le vacated his title in order to pursue an acting career, top contenders Jake Shields (23-4-1) and Jason “Mayhem” Miller (22-6-0, 1 NC) will square off to determine the next Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.

Shields has competed in the welterweight division for much of his career and became the first and only EliteXC Welterweight Champion when he defeated Nick “The Goat” Thompson in July of 2008.

With wins over the likes of Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Akira Kikuchi, Dave “The Road Warrior” Menne, Yushin “Thunder” Okami, “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit, Mike “Quicksand” Pyle, Paul “Semtex” Daley and, in his Strikeforce middleweight debut, former EliteXC Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, Shields has already battled and beaten many of the best that the sport has to offer.

No slouch himself, Miller is a former ICON Sport Middleweight Champion and holds wins over Denis “Super Korean” Kang, Lawler, Tim Kennedy and former ICON Sport star Kala “Kalohe” Hose. His most recent bout ended in a No Contest when he cut Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza with an illegal soccer kick at Dream.9 in May.

Miller holds a huge edge in experience at the middleweight level, but has not faced the same level of opposition that Shields has throughout his career.

Shields possesses top-notch submission skills and has solid takedowns, but his striking is still a work in progress. He has improved considerably over the past two years, but will need to avoid lengthy exchanges with Miller.

For Miller, the game plan is simple. He must keep the fight on the feet and aim for a knockout, as Shields’s past opponents have quickly discovered that fighting him on the ground is a recipe for disaster. Miller’s striking is often unorthodox, but if he can keep Shields at bay, he could pick up a huge win in his Strikeforce debut.

Despite his mediocre skill as a striker, Shields proved in his bout with Lawler that he can overcome a superior kickboxer in the pursuit of a submission. He will duplicate the same feat against Miller en route to capturing the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.

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