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Kevin Iole & Steve Cofield: Hey, maybe we overrated both Brett Rogers & Fedor

By Zach Arnold | May 20, 2010

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The writers from Yahoo Sports debate.

Is Brett Rogers really a Top 10 heavyweight?

STEVE COFIELD: “Speaking of struggling, Brett Rogers on Saturday got a little lesson in terms of going against a top-notch heavyweight but we thought he was going to get a lesson the last time around. How did he compete with Fedor, lump him up, break his nose, and get physically and I think mentally destroyed by (Alistair) Overeem?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I question the training that he did. I know that he was in Vegas a little bit. He went to LA to train with Mighty Mo, you know, of course got his legs kicked you know like tremendously by Mighty Mo. There wasn’t a lot of good training here in Vegas when he was here. I’m not sure really that he prepared all that well for the fight. You know I thought based on Brett’s performance against Fedor and the heavy hands he showed in the win over Andrei Arlovski, I really kind of liked Brett in the fight. I thought it was going to be a fight, but I looked at Brett as a guy that you know was going to be able to come forward, wasn’t going to be intimidated by Overeem, would match him and I thought he was going to be the more powerful guy. Man, that was wrong and before anything ever happened, I knew seconds into the fight Brett was in trouble because he was backing up and he was moving side-to-side, that is not his game I mean he’s not Floyd Mayweather, he’s not a guy that’s going to give you angles and move and do all that stuff. He’s going to be a guy that moves forward and gets in your face and when I saw him doing that I was thinking, ‘boy you are in trouble’ and you know all credit to Overeem, I mean we can talk about what Brett Rogers did incorrectly but I think you know it’s fair and you have to say Overeem looked very good in that fight.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Absolutely. I agree with you, I thought Rogers looked intimidated at the weigh-in. I thought once they got in the cage he looked like the smaller guy and then he didn’t fight like Brett Rogers. Overeem’s an intimidating guy, he’s a confident guy. Now, are we all going, I wrote like three pieces on Overeem, I compared him a little bit to Manny Pacquiao in terms of feeling more comfortable.”

KEVIN IOLE: *laughs*

STEVE COFIELD: “At a bigger weight, not having to cut and drain himself to 205, I mean he’s much bigger now but are we going a little crazy, do we not have to kind of factor in the fact that he is 33-11?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I mean, he’s lost to some guys that make you go hmmm but even more than that, I mean, I just think you know we need to see him consistently against top guys and you know I thought Brett was going to be one of those top guys, I thought Brett was a least Top 10 heavyweight but you know now I’m starting to question that. You know not the fact that he lost, not the fact that he got knocked out in the first round, you know I could say there are guys who get knocked out in the first round of a fight and they’re still Top 10 in there division. But in Brett’s case, you know, maybe we were overrating him off the Fedor fight, you know, and this is kind of playing revisionist history and it’s not fair but let’s go back, you know, he caught Arlovski cold, you know Arlovski doesn’t know a lot about him so you know anybody gets hit with one big punch you know it’s over so and then he comes into Fedor and how seriously did Fedor take him? We don’t know, that’s the big question, you know, did Fedor really bring his A-game? You know if he did, then maybe that fight says more about Fedor at this stage in his career than Rogers but you know maybe it’s just as likely that Fedor you know didn’t really think much of Rogers, didn’t you know train the way he normally trains and mentally wasn’t in the same kind of condition for his top challenges.”

Is Fedor still the #1 Heavyweight in MMA?

STEVE COFIELD: “All right, well good segue on Fedor because as you know I think I’m one of four guys out of about 27 in our poll at Yahoo who is still voting Fedor #1 and for the first time I’m starting to re-think that choice. I can buy Fedor maybe looking ahead of Brett Rogers but the problem is he’s had a couple of fights now where he got lumped up and he wasn’t great striking against Arlovski and Rogers back-to-back and we’ve seen what’s happened with Rogers in this last fight and Andrei’s getting out-boxed by guys like Antonio Silva, who’s good but maybe this is really starting to say a lot about Fedor.”

KEVIN IOLE: “I mean until somebody beats him, you know have to give him that respect and you know he’s beaten a lot of good guys and it’s been a long time and you know how difficult I was talking with Todd Duffee about that and in this sport to go you know with as many fights as Fedor has done without a fluke happening you know that you know the first Frank Mir fight over Brock Lesnar, Lesnar’s dominating the fight and Frank catches his knee. You know if you looked at the two walking out of the cage in no way would you say Frank Mir won the fight. You know so it’s kind of a fluke ending, I don’t want to take anything away from Frank’s win because I mean that’s the kind of fighter he is but the point I’m making is you know Brock had most of that fight but Fedor’s never let that happen to him so I think we’ve still got to give him the respect because he hasn’t lost that fight, it’s been a long time but you know maybe there are signs and maybe you know it’s not his decline but everybody else is catching up, he set such a high standard.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Now you sound like the guy who’s voting for Fedor and I sound like the guy who’s anti-Fedor and I still have him #1, I didn’t say I’m moving him, but for the first time I have a little doubt and I wonder… if there’s a little doubt from the promotion with M-1 in terms of matching him up, you know I wrote a story a couple days ago saying ‘hey, Overeem’s backed this guy into a corner now,’ Fedor’s got to get by (Fabricio) Werdum next month but hey, you know what Fedor, there’s no avoiding this one.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I don’t see how he can, I mean if he does not fight Overeem then he’s got big problems because #1, who does he fight? I mean who does Strikeforce/CBS sell him with if he does not fight the heavyweight champion? I mean it’s ridiculous. So he really has to, I think it’s going to be a hard sell for them you know on the fight in June because you know fighting you know Werdum…. you know, I mean, Werdum you know did cover himself in glory during his stint in the UFC, you know no great shame getting knocked out by Junior Dos Santos but I didn’t think he looked good in his fight with Arlovski, you know, so you know he certainly was not a big thing in the UFC certainly you know I don’t think anybody had him as a Top 5 Heavyweight in the UFC. Now, you know, he’s going in there, he’s getting a title shot over a guy that you know not a title shot I guess, I keep thinking of Fedor as the champion but he’s you know getting the gold standard match over a guy you know has the belt and who has a really impressive victory, so you know I think they’re going to have a hard time selling the next fight and if they certainly if Fedor beats Werdum it’s really going to be hard for them to sell anything but Alistair Overeem.”

How much trouble is Strikeforce in with Showtime & CBS?

STEVE COFIELD: “So, is all of this speculation looking ahead with Strikeforce and Showtime and CBS, is it pointless? Because when you start to look at numbers, I mean for replay fights you know a set of fights on Spike with UFC to do almost 900,000 viewers and the Showtime, a solid card, doing 300,000 viewers and now you got Fedor again on Showtime coming up in June, what’s the future? I mean how much can you pay guys and only draw audiences of 300,000, 400,000, 500,000 people?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I mean, you know there’s a lot of questions now. Fedor did 5 million when he fought on CBS so you know he had a great showing in November on CBS but you know they have to be worried about that, Steve, there’s no doubt about it. You know, yeah the UFC put on a really good fight they showed The Korean Zombie and Leonard Garcia among others on Saturday night against the show, but you know what that’s something you would think people you know they’ve already seen it, they’ll DVR it and they’re going to watch the Showtime card but it looks like they didn’t. The one thing we have to point out that’s fair here is that Spike is basic cable so that has a lot bigger universe than does Showtime which is a premium cable, but you know the bottom line is it doesn’t matter when the numbers come in because they need to get people watching their show and I would say this — if the UFC was on Showtime, I think they’d be doing more than 300,000 viewers, so that’s you know the onus is on Scott Coker and Strikeforce as well as the folks at Showtime and CBS to really start promoting this better and getting the word out there, they use an outside agency that does a good job but they need to get their own marketing and their own PR working on this and doing a better and more professional job of getting the word out because they do have some good fights and good things going on, they have to let the public know that.”

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 13 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

13 Responses to “Kevin Iole & Steve Cofield: Hey, maybe we overrated both Brett Rogers & Fedor”

  1. edub says:

    “At a bigger weight, not having to cut and drain himself to 205, I mean he’s much bigger now but are we going a little crazy, do we not have to kind of factor in the fact that he is 33-11?”

    He’s the one who compared him to Pac-man. Why did he say “are we going a little crazy”? No you’re just an idiot.

  2. Mark says:

    Believe it or not I agree with most of the things Iole said, which is rare (musta been a fake Kevin Iole hiding his identity behind that Pirates hat!)

    But while obviously UFC, for semi-big shows, would do far better than what Strikeforce does for big shows, using Overeem-Rogers as the measuring stick against that theory isn’t fair. Essentially that was a fight on kind of the same level as the Nogueira-Velasquez main event which wasn’t as successful as some people believed it would be. The big difference being it was a title match, but how many people even knew Overeem was champion? He hasn’t been around in forever and I keep seeing lots of people just assume Fedor is Strikeforce champion (and some even think he’s still defending the WAMMA title) so it was a hard sell and it’s their fault for letting Overeem keep the title without even showing his face for so long without stripping him or at the very least doing an Interim deal. Now that Overeem has established himself, especially if he fights Fedor next, surely the show does at least close to Carrano-Cyborg numbers.

    I don’t know what UFC would do on Showtime. I think the bigger HBO fights do a million viewers, but Showtime has less than half of the subscribers. Obviously UFC would boost those numbers, but how many people would pay the Showtime fee plus buy pay per views regularly? Going on a subscription channel could possibly hurt their PPV numbers. And surely Strikeforce would bomb on PPV for that reason. Among other things.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    After the way I saw Rogers get manhandled…. And how Rogers took on Fedor… I’m starting to think that Werdum at least has a shot at beating Fedor. Not a great shot, but the potential is there. Fedor’s best days are behind him. If he was in the UFC for over a year, he would have already lost.

    Right now, he is just a protected fighter.

  4. d says:

    I know journalists don’t really understand fighting, but the reason Rogers didn’t immediately run forward swinging was because the openings simply weren’t there. Overeem’s hands were never out of position, and he had all the answers.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Rogers was intimidated before the fight started. I saw the same exact thing they did. Within 10 second of the fight starting, I knew Rogers had already mentally lost. It was all over his body language.

      Yes, a fighter doesn’t have to be aggressive, but what he was doing was pure fear.

  5. Mr.Roadblock says:

    All the talk about the ratings on Showtime are just speculation.

    Showtime is a premium pay channel. It isn’t advertiser supported. So ratings don’t matter. Monthly viewers do.

    What is important (and we have no way to know it and probably never will unless it gets written in a book some day) is what Showtimes internal metrics are. Showtime sets aside a certain amount of money for SF and projects that SF will bring in x number of monthly subscribers.

    Obviously anyone who was a Showtime subscriber before the SF doesn’t matter. The question is how many of the 300,000+ viewers are new subscribers that signed on for Showtime because of MMA.

    There’s a good probably 100-250,000 super hardcore crazy MMA fans now. If a good majority of them shell out $12/month for Showtime then SF has time on there to grow.

    But really SF doesn’t bring much to the table that Showtime couldn’t get with any other promoter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gary Shaw take over the bookings on Showtime at a future date.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Showtime only gets like $1 per subscriber. Maybe closer to $1.25. It’s not much. HBO is the big one… They get like $4 or $5 per subscriber.

      I don’t know if Strikeforce will be off of Showtime… But I can’t imagine paying $500,000 to $700,000 to Strikeforce for a show that brings in 300,000 viewers is a good thing. I can’t imagine the number of people getting Showtime for Strikeforce is high enough to justify those numbers.

      At the end of the day, if Showtime is making money and can justify certain projects, Strikeforce will be fine. But if cuts are made, they aren’t protected…

  6. harbour says:

    In my opinion, people are very much understating the fact that Rogers suffered both his first loss and his first KO last time out. The next time out for a fighter after he’s been KO’d for the first time is often a shaky endeavor.

    I read somewhere, if forget where off hand, but someone saying that Rogers looked like he didn’t want any part or getting up after he was down for fear of receiving a knee on the way up. Imagine being some tire changing dude, rattling off a good little streak, then the AA fight, then getting knocked cold for the first time. No way rogers didn’t watch that Fujita fight with the knee or his K-1. He needed a tune up fight bad and being thrown in against Overeem after his first loss, fighting for a title no less, was ludicrous.

  7. Jack says:

    “But in Brett’s case, you know, maybe we were overrating him off the Fedor fight”

    Yes, yes you were. Because if you pay attention he literally had less than 5 seconds of effective offense during the fight.

    • Mark says:

      Well, it was more than that, but mainly people were just impressed Fedor couldn’t arm bar him and he lasted past round one.

      But saying that proves Fedor sucks and Overeem would beat him because he man handled him is pretty ridiculous. Rogers fought afraid, he didn’t show that intimidation with Fedor. Fedor still got the KO win, fighters have overcome worse to get a knock out and as long as they get the KO it’s all that counts. But because it is Fedor every millisecond of the fight is put under a microscope and if he isn’t winning in every frame of the film while you watch it under super slow motion to analyze it it means Fedor sucks.

    • Isaiah says:

      Correct. And a lot of those five seconds came after Fedor hurt Rogers with a punch and then took him down and went for a sub and lost position. Overeem was more cautious when he got Rogers down. Had Fedor taken the same cautious approach, the fights would have looked pretty similar.

      Well, apparently, another interpretation is that Fedor just sucks and “is a protected fighter” who will probably lose to the next decent opponent he faces.

  8. Kyle says:

    “well good segway on Fedor because as you know I think I’m one of four guys”

    I think you meant segue. Thanks, Zach. Lots of great content lately.

    Ed. — And here I am as an editor. Oof. This is a bad day.

  9. Rob Maysey says:

    Fedor overrated? This is pure nonsense–and any legit fight journalist who says things like this is irresponsible at best.


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