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Potential Fedor Fights

August 4, 2011 4 comments

So the big news today: Fedor Emelianenko has been cut from Strikeforce following his loss to Dan Henderson.  I’m not going to say that Dana White is enjoying this, but I can’t help but think he’s really, really enjoying this.  Dana was probably looking for the first opportunity to stick it to his good pals at M-1 and now he’s done so in a very big way.

But now this means that Fedor is without a true fighting home and M-1 is without a co-promoter.  Still, does this mean Fedor is without options?  Will one of the most beloved heavyweights of all time finish his career with three consecutive losses and no way to climb back to his throne?  Can one of the all time greats really end things like this?

Fortunately for “The Last Emperor”, there are still some pretty interesting and fairly relevant fights for him to participate in.  Today, I’ll take a look at some of these potential opponents who might get the next shot at Fedor.

Alistair Overeem – This would definitely be the most interesting fight for Fedor, as an Overeem/Fedor fight almost came to fruition under the Strikeforce banner.  With both men having been cut from the promotion in the last month, now seems like a great time to square off and put on a show that would surely rival Zuffa in terms of excitement.  The relevance of this contest might be diminished given Fedor’s recent losses, but this is a fight that any MMA fan would love to see.  This would require Golden Glory and M-1 to put their heads together in an attempt to level a big blow against Strikeforce and the UFC.

Gabriel Gonzaga – Gonzaga is a former number one contender to the UFC Heavyweight Title after a stunning knockout win over Mirko Cro Cop.  Though he went 1-3 in his last four fights with the UFC, Gonzaga has the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to hang with any heavyweight fighter in MMA.  Combine that with an ample striking game and you have a pretty good opponent for Fedor.  Of course, if Gonzaga couldn’t beat Brendan Schaub, I’m not sure why he would have much of a chance against Fedor.

Guram Gugenishvili – Given Fedor’s association with M-1, Gugenishvili seems like the likeliest option at this point, even if it isn’t the most interesting choice..  Gugenishvili is a world class grappler with an undefeated 11-0 record, ten wins coming by way of submission.  He’s lacking any significant wins, though he’s defeated some of the best that M-1 has to offer in Kenny Garner and Maxim Grishin.  The Georgian Gugenishvili could certainly pose a threat to Fedor with his grappling, though I worry about Fedor eating Guram up with strikes.

Pedro Rizzo – The former number one contender to the UFC Heavyweight Title is a long way from the big show, but he’s looked impressive as of late.  Rizzo, who was a ranked fighter until dropping out due to inactivity, has three straight wins over Ken Shamrock, Gary Goodridge, and Jeff Monson.  Rizzo has a bit of name value left and is a dangerous kickboxer, but does he have enough left to stop Fedor at this point in his career?  This would be a pretty lopsided affair, but it’s a big enough name to put up against Fedor.

Hong Man Choi – How is it that we’ll only see Fedor fight a seven foot tall Korean man only once in our lifteime?  Fedor vs. Choi two would probably be the biggest or second biggest fight in the history of the MMA series pitting Russia against Korea.  This fight would be that good.

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