Strikeforce strikes again, and I’m trapped inside a glass box of emotions on this one.
There were four fights on the main card of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum and none of them went to decision. This sounds like it could be a promising night for Strikeforce however the only issue is that the heavyweight division appears to be in a bit of disarray after a surprising outcome in the main event.
By now many of you already know the result of “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emilianenko (32-2) and Fabricio Werdum (14-4) which was a relatively quick submission for the underdog Werdum in round 1. One thing about this fight seemed a little odd to me. I don’t believe this fight was “fixed” in the sense that the majority of people may suspect it was however, I found it strange that an MMA veteran of 34 fights would go into the guard of a BJJ black belt for ground and pound with his head down. When they showed the replay I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me. It’s not that I believe Fedor is untouchable or unbeatable, I just refuse to believe that he’s never heard of a triangle and doesn’t know how to defend one.
Shortly after the Main event ended quickly Dana white tweeted the following “:D”. I’m pretty sure I know why Dana is smiling, and furthermore how Strikeforce will keep the smile on Dana’s face.
I am going to state a series of facts about the SF Heavyweight division and sum them up at the end.
1. Before fighting Brett Rogers, Allastair Overeem had not defended his title in two years, yet no interim title was established.
2. Brett Rogers lost to Fedor Emilianenko, but his next fight was a title shot against Allastair Overeem.
3. Allastair Overeem was slated to fight the winner of the Fedor-Werdum fight for the title.
4. Werdum immediately called for a rematch against Fedor after defeating him because in his opinion since he already beat Overeem he has his belt.
Now all that I just listed are facts. The last two however are the ones that could be the undoing of the division in Strikeforce. Rumor has it that Werdum will get his rematch against Fedor and that Allastair Oveeem will fight Bobby Lashley for the title instead. The problem with this is that when your organization isn’t matching your top talent against each other, every single time, the legitimacy of your titles is called into question. For instance in the UFC Brock Lesnar will face Shane Carwin for the title. If Shane Carwin weren’t available then it would’ve been Cain Velasquez. The clear title contender behind Carwin is Velasquez, essentially the number 1, 2, and 3 guy are clear by the match-ups.
Strikeforce is not clear in who they really think is the number one fighter in their organization. You cannot be marketed as the number one fighter on the planet and not have the belt in your organization. However if you are, the easy solution is to have that fighter fight for the belt immediately. This is what the UFC planned to do with Fedor if he signed with them. He would have an immediate shot at Brock Lesnar. Since they had him fight Brett Rogers instead, and then Werdum they have tarnished the legitimacy of their own belt.
If a fighter has not torn through a division to become the number one contender then why should he be fighting for the title? So who is the number 1, 2 and 3 guy in the Strikeforce Heavyweight division? Right now it’s quite hard to argue that it isn’t Fabricio Werdum as he’s the only heavyweight fighter in strikeforce to hold a win over the current champion, and the highly touted “baddest man on the planet”. If he’s the number one guy, then why isn’t he fighting to make it official by fighting for the belt?
A lot of people criticize Dana White’s methods as being draconian or even calling him a tyrant, however after this weekend there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who the Undisputed champion of the UFC heavyweight division is. Some would even argue that at this point, the UFC is holding the number one heavyweight in the world, and now unarguably the number one pound for pound fighter in either GSP or Anderson Silva.
I guess that is a good reason to be smiling.