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Is Fedor a mainstream star in America? Is he still an ‘invincible’ ace?

By Zach Arnold | February 10, 2011

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Steve Cofield and Kevin Iole of the Yahoo Sports/ writing team had a discussion recently about the upcoming Strikeforce HW GP.

(The tournament starts this Saturday and airs on Showtime. Josh Gross is reporting that Strikeforce officials are expecting 14,500 seats filled up at the Izod Center for Saturday’s event.)

I took a snippet of the conversation the team had about the upcoming tournament, with the focus primarily being on Fedor and whether he’s lost his mojo and is still the favorite to win it all.

STEVE COFIELD: “So, Overeem, you know, is relatively big. Not size-wise, but popularity, you know he’s still growing with, again no pun intended, the audience in the United States. Fedor’s way up there but how far up there is he? How much traction do you think Fedor’s gained over the last couple of years with those MMA fans who didn’t get to watch him in PRIDE and in Japan?”

KEVIN IOLE: “I think that he’s grown because he’s gotten a lot of hype on CBS, a lot of hype on Showtime, but he’s still not where he should be for a guy of his talent and his accomplishment and I think that part of it is because of the way he’s been promoted by M-1 and handled by M-1 and kept largely away from the American people and he hasn’t been too forthcoming in terms of being, making himself accessible to American media. I think he’s certainly growing because CBS & Showtime have done a very good job of getting him out and the best they can given the parameters and the difficulties in dealing with M-1. But I think he could be bigger and he should be bigger. You’re talking about one of the, you know if you don’t say he’s the greatest MMA fighter of all time, certainly he’s in the Top 3 and his accomplishments, there are people who debate chiefly UFC President Dana White from, you know, 2006-on what has he done? He’s fought lesser opponents but, you know, from 2000-2005 I mean what this guy is a Hall of Fame against some amazing fighters. So, you know, and he basically went 10 years undefeated. I mean, that’s just unheard in this sport where everybody loses. So, I think you know he’s a great fighter who’s still not quite as known as the mainstream American sports fans as he should be.”

STEVE COFIELD: “So, there’s two storylines with Fedor going into the tournament. The first is, and this is the one I’m a little worried about because I have Fedor way up there still in the pound-for-pound list, I think he’s tremendous. BUT, we’ve seen a lot of guys who were dominant from, you know, ’99 through like 2006 and they didn’t evolve, the rest of the field kind of caught up. Everyone else is working and getting better. We’ve seen it happen a lot. Is Fedor one of those guys? I mean he’s going against a huge guy in Bigfoot Silva, who is pretty well-rounded. Do you feel like he’s been caught? Is he a lot closer to the field than he’s ever been?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Well, I think he’s closer to the field because other guys are getting better. I don’t think he’s coming back and I do think, Steve, that, you know, he has a diverse game. I mean, he doesn’t rely on any one thing. I think he can do a number of different things. You know, he’s a hard hitter, he’s got good jiu-jitsu, he’s got judo, he’s got a lot of different aspects of his game that I think, you know, he can rely on that would help him in a major fight. Plus, he’s very calm and I think that, you know, that attitude he has really helps him as well. Having said that, I think that the new breed of heavyweights is a lot better than they were five years ago. You know, if you look at 2006 where the heavyweights were and you look at where they are now, there was nobody near a guy like Cain Velasquez, to use him as an example, and even a guy like Bigfoot Silva. I don’t think Silva’s the greatest fighter in the world but, you know, he’s a massive guy that has pretty good quickness for a guy his size and as hard as he punches, you can’t roll him out against Fedor. You know, I think Fedor wins that fight but, you know, he’s got a huge reach, he’s got, you know, big hands if you’ve ever shaken hands with him you know they’re like ham hocks they’re so big. And, you know, he hits you with that and it changes, power changes anything and you get caught with one of those big punches and forget about it.”

STEVE COFIELD: “I think the other storyline with Fedor is that air of invincibility. I really do believe that and, you know this, from Tyson and great fighters throughout history that Fedor, for a long time, could walk into the ring and have guys beaten almost before the bell sounded. I think that happened with Cro Cop. Cro Cop was DOMINANT but he was afraid in that fight. I think Mark Coleman, to a certain extent. Different guys. I don’t know that that exists any more. What do you think?”

KEVIN IOLE: “I think you’re right, Steve, I mean I think saw it start to melt away with Brett Rogers because I think in the Brett Rogers fight, you know here’s a guy who worked at Sam’s Club just a few months before, wasn’t a particularly accomplished guy in terms of win or anything fighting Fedor and, you know, he did some damage and he had some success in different areas and all of a sudden I think, you know, it’s like, wow, he went for broke and he got, I don’t want to say got lucky, but he had success and I think other people saw that and said, hmmmm and Werdum I think realized, hey, I can win this fight. I’m not saying that he was brimming with confidence or overflowing feeling like it was a slam dunk but certainly I think Werdum knew going into that fight, hey, I have a chance, you know, I have some skills in this fight, Fedor’s human, Brett Rogers proved it and Werdum took advantage of, you know, a couple of really bad mistakes by Fedor and beat him. So, I think that just like happened to Mike Tyson in boxing, that was a great analogy. Once Evander Holyfield beat him, Buster Douglas did it a little bit but Tyson regained that, but once Evander Holyfield beat him it was over for Mike Tyson. He was never the same guy again and I don’t think that’s the case with Fedor because I think he’s still closer to his prime than Mike was and Mike didn’t maybe take care of his body the same way that Fedor does, but I certainly think it helps the opponents because now they believe that, hey, they can go in there and they can compete and he’s not some cyborg and that, you know, that they have a chance to beat him and then he may make a mistake.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Now the interesting part is that Rogers then faced Overeem and I thought he looked scared shitless. (Ed. — I filled in the blank for Steve.) He walked in, he was intimidated. So, let’s look at the overall tournament. I want to stay on the side of the bracket, Overeem is imposing. He’s scary. He’s intimidating. For that reason, are we overlooking Werdum a little bit? I mean, he’s got some good wins. I think a lot of people are just assuming, hey, Overeem’s going to move into the next round.”

KEVIN IOLE: “If you’re good enough to beat Fedor, you’re good enough to beat anybody. So, you know, I don’t think you can overlook Fabricio Werdum. Having that said, I think you got to consider Overeem the favorite in that fight. I mean, you know as you said, he’s a much bigger, stronger guy and I think he’s an overall better fighter. I also think that he’s going to be a fight that we’re going to see Alistair Overeem very ready for because he know what’s at stake, you know, he doesn’t win that fight, he doesn’t get Fedor and that’s the fight that makes or breaks, you know, especially if you’re outside of the UFC and you’re a heavyweight, the one fight you want is Fedor Emelianenko and so this is the fight, it’s right there for him and he can’t afford to look ahead or not be ready, have any other kind of excuse, so I think we’re going to see the best Alistair Overeem that we’ve ever seen when he fights Fabricio Werdum and I think (at their) best against best, that’s definitely a win for Overeem.”

Topics: M-1, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 33 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

33 Responses to “Is Fedor a mainstream star in America? Is he still an ‘invincible’ ace?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Nobody in the UFc is really mainstream except maybe GSP in Canada. Certainly nobody in SF is. Less then 500,000 average for the last Fedor card on Showtime. How can anybody even take him being a star talk seriously? Over 4 times that crowd saw Chad Mendes on Saturday. Heck, more people probably paid $50 for a UFC PPV then watched Fedor on Showtime.

    Perfect example of these 2 guys living in the MMA bubble.

    Speaking of people who are still trying to overhype non-UFC fighters…. Sherdogs last ratings saw no real shift in twit rankings despite further proof that JMMA is meaningless in terms of rankings right now…. The MMA Media still just doesn’t get it. They are a hopeless bunch….

    • 45 Huddle says:

      UFC 126 is trending at 700,000 to 750,000 buys. And nobody on that card is mainstream. Silva and Griffin are stars but not close to mainstream. And far more important then Fedor….

    • AKH says:

      It’s always amazed/baffled/annoyed me how “in the bubble” most mma media are. My theory is that when UFC started getting mainstream attention back in 2004/2005, places like espn, yahoo, etc, who didn’t know much about the sport/industry/business all somehow got infected with hardcore mma fanboy mindset disease when they reached out to places like sherdog, bloodyelbow, etc to get info about the sport.

      This is how we’ve got all the “fedor is the greatest/big star/XXXX japanese fighter should be ranked #2,#1,#4” and so on. Plus – it doesn’t help when mainstream outlets hire/partner up with hardcore fanboys.

      Just mention fedor or strikeforce at the sports bar during a ufc and all you’ll get are shurgs and I dunnos. Happens EVERYTIME I bring them up around casual/ufc fans. Oh well – such as life.

  2. The Gaijin says:

    I don’t think Fedor could possibly be considered a “mainstream” star in America. The potential was there when he was getting tons of buzz/hype with Affliction, which from all accounts had pretty decent PPV performance, but totally destroyed any value they had by giving high six figure contracts to EVERYONE on the card.

    The potential remained/presented itself again when he went on the CBS card and pulled a pretty good rating (5-6 million peak viewers, iirc?) and had an “aura”-type victory where he pulled off a pretty wild KO. But his team totally pissed away all momentum he had by holding off the CBS card –> fighting on Showtime –> losing in 69 seconds to someone they put little build behind. This also led to rather irreparable harm to his “invincible ace” status as well.

    I think the potential is there for them to build him back up with the tourney as his “redemption” tour, but his team seems to create more obstacles for his success/status every time he makes headway.

  3. Zack says:

    The Fedor hasn’t fought anyone since 2005-2006 argument is so lame…outside of Couture, who do Cofield/Iole think he should have fought? They are weak talking heads.

    Fedor’s camp tried to get the Couture fight, and were scheduled to face Barnett. Barnett would’ve been his 3rd top 10 fight in under a year and a half span.

    Lets say at the time of the Sylvia/Arlovski fights which everyone writes off now, who should he have fought?

    At the time of the Sylvia fight:

    – Lesnar was just 1-1 with no top 25 wins and coming off a loss to Mir.

    – Carwin’s biggest win was Christian Wellish in the very first fight of the UFC 84 card.

    – Cain had only had 3 fights and no top 10 opponents.

    – JDS wasn’t even in the UFC yet and was 1-1 in his last 2 fights.

    Arlovski left the UFC on a winning streak and Dana had publicly said he didn’t want to lose him.

    Here’s what Dana White said about Arlovski to 5 OZ of Pain:

    “In nine years, there’s only one fighter that I’ve lost that I didn’t want to lose,” said UFC President Dana White. “That was (Andrei) Arlovski, and it still bothers me.”

    White tried very hard to keep Arlovski in the UFC.

    “I jumped on a plane and flew to Chicago with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and kissed his butt to try to make him not leave,” said White.

    At the time of the Arlovski fight:

    – Brock was 3-1 and hadn’t avenged the Mir loss yet.

    – Carwin still had no top 10 wins…his only UFC wins were over Wellish and Neil Wain.

    – Cain was 4-0 with his only UFC win being over Jake Obrien

    – JDS had just got his first top 10 win over Werdum.

    But Arlovski was on a 5 fight win streak with wins over top 15 guys Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson, and top 10 guy Werdum. He was ranked top 5 in the world by all and top 3 by most.

    Iole, Cofield, and the rest of the MMA media who always use the “Fedor hasn’t fought anyone since 2005” argument are total hacks.

    • AKH says:

      I think the problem people have with fedor’s run between Sept 2005 and now are the following matches:

      2005 Wagner da Conceicao Martins(Zulu)
      2006 Mark Coleman
      2006 Mark Hunt
      2007 Matt Lindland
      2007 Hong Man Choi
      2008 Tim Sylvia
      2009 Brett Rogers

      • Zack says:

        Zulu Jr was a lame fight but at least Fedor blasted him ASAP. That was his 3rd fight of that year and he went in with an injured was just a showcase fight for a NYE card. It’s really hard to compare peak Japanese MMA to how MMA is now.

        Hong Man Choi fight was basically the same thing and was in that weird year where Pride went away and UFC hadn’t signed everyone.

        Mark Hunt was top 10 because of the Cro Cop win, and his only loss in MMA was to a top 10 Josh Barnett. If a win over prime Cro Cop doesn’t put you in the top 10, how did Chiek Kongo and Gonzaga get top 10 status after beating Cro Cop years later?

        Coleman rematch was lame…but most of the fights on those Pride America cards were lame cuz they insisted on having an American in every fight.

        Everyone likes to say Couture was a legit win for Lesnar but discount the Lindland win for Fedor. There was more weight discrepancy between Couture & Lesnar than there was for Fedor & Lindland…plus Couture was coming off a year layoff while Lindland was 9-1 in his last 10, with his only loss being to Rampage in a fight a lot of people thought he won.

        As much as you hate to admit it, Sylvia was a top 5 win and Rogers was a top 10 win.

        If you’re discounting the Sylvia win, who should he have fought at that time?

        • The Gaijin says:

          I’m blanking badly here on who it was, but people fail to recognize or just like to ignore the fact (in order to advance their argument) that Lindland was a late replacement for the BoDog fight.

        • notthface says:

          Lindland was a replacement for Jeff Monson, who had just fought for the UFC title (losing by decision) and who had visa problems.

          Mark Hunt was also a replacement – for Cro Cop and Barnett, who both claimed to be too injured to take the fight. Interesting enough, Barnett fought on that same card…

          Pride did the Coleman rematch because Coleman had some name value in America, where the event was held.

          Sylvia was #5 and had just fought for the interim belt so he was ostensibly the 3rd best HW in the UFC. The only two above him? Big Nog and Couture who was trying to get out to fight Fedor.

          And people forget Arlovski was viewed as the legitimate #2 after Couture and Nog lost and having won 5 in a row and 11 of his last 13. His only losses were to the champ Tim Sylvia who seemed to have his number.

          Hong Man Choi and Zulu? Only justifiable as freakshows.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Barnett ducked several opportunities to fight Fedor while in PRIDE.

        • edub says:

          The thing is a lot of people thought Arlovski was overrated at the time.

          I thought it was justified taking into account all the things you said, and the fact that he was one of my favorite fightes (I was sure he was going to beat Fedor). However, looking back at his quality of wins he should have never been there. His best wins after the back to back losses to Tim were Fabricio Werdum who was 3-2 in his previous 5 fights before, and Ben Rothwell who was a borderline top 9 guy.

          It was the right fight for Affliction to make considering I’ve always believed Barnett was hugely overrated because of wins over Hunt, A. Emelianenko, and a win over Nog that was avenged shortly thereafter. He was an exciting fighter with good power and on a win streak. The only other guy was Barnett (and we all know now how that turned out).

          The thing is he should have never been top 3 in the world.

        • nottheface says:

          Curious who you’d have above him at that tieme? Not Couture or Big Nog who were coming off loses. Same with Tim Sylvia and Werdum. Not Carwin, Cain, or Overeem, none of whom had yet to fight a top guy at HW. Not JDS who only had 1 big win at HW and who knew if that was a fluke or not. Frank Mir? It’s hard putting him there when he was 4-2 since coming back from his accident and, more importantly, had only beaten one ranked foe – Big Nog (a victory over a 1-0 Brock Lesnar shouldn’t get you much). Brock Lesnar? Sure he beat Couture and Herring but he still had only 3 wins while, as I said, Arlovski had won 5 in row and 11 of 13 over overall better opponents.
          The only other guy is Barnett who I don’t think was facing the level of competition that Arlovski was.

        • edub says:

          I did have him at #2 at the time. As I said above. What I’m saying is he shouldn’t have been pushed up the rankings just because other guys above him lost. Think about this, Nogueira beat Sylvia before he left. That should’ve made Nogueira keep his spot above Arlovski up until the Frank Mir fight 2 months after Arlovski’s fight with Roy Nelson. After Mir beat Nog he should’ve taken over his spot in the rankings.

          I’m not saying it was the wrong thing for Affliction to do because I think they made the right decision by picking Andre, but looking back I don’t think Arlovski should’ve just moved up the rankings without facing any top tier guys.

        • The reason why Mir didn’t leapfrog into the #2 position is because he wasn’t even in most people’s top tens (and in some cases top 15s) entering the bout. Its easy to say “He beat Lesnar!” but beating Lesnar at that time was basically a meaningless statement. Lesnar had one fight coming in – saying that everyone should have known that Lesnar would go on to win the title, avenge his loss to Mir, and beat Shane Carwin is a bit much.

          So when Noguiera lost to Mir, he dropped and Mir went up, but Noguiera dropped appreciably as would be expected when one loses to someone who is well way below them in the rankings. At the same time, Mir is not going to jump 10-15-20 spots to the #2 space. The positions in the top ten aren’t linear in the same way the world championship is.

        • And here’s the thing too about retrospect – if Nelson beats Mir in a couple months time, how does that affect the historical narrative about the value of these respective wins?

        • edub says:

          Probably depends on the person, right? What does the stand up from side control in the Arlovski-Nelson fight have on historical retrospect? What effect does Noguiera beating Randy have in history? If Arlovski gets by Kharitonov then say Barnett how is he viewed than?

          The spots are not linear, but are they supposed to be just a fill in system? One guy loses so the rest of the guys move up one spot? After writing that down it doesn’t seem so bad so I can compare more with Nottheface’s original point, but is that best way to look at it? Last question is kind of for anyone?

        • Isaiah says:

          Alan, I think the Cain/Lesnar fight (in combination with the Carwin/Lesnar fight) should have already caused a re-evaluation of both Brock and Mir. It’s apparent now that Randy was finished as a HW going into his fight with Lesnar and that Mir is the same mediocre fighter he’s always beem, new muscles aside. We now also know that Lesnar is a dangerous but vulnerable fighter, who was never really one of the best HWs in the world. We also know that Cain is the real deal, and that Carwin probably isn’t.

          The same thing is going to happen in the SF tournament, probably. A couple of guys will get exposed, and maybe one or two will emerge as great fighters. When you get a huge influx of data (as we got with the UFC finally matching its top guys against each other and as we’re getting with the SF tourney), you should expect a big change of perception.

    • Kimbos Beard says:

      I think the point of Fedor’s lackluster run of opponents is that I don’t really know how good he is any more.

      He didn’t really fight anybody good between Crocop and Tim

      I don’t discount the Tim fight from his ranking, but it doesn’t really give me an indication of Fedor’s skill. Tim was starting his big slide, and has a tendency to get dropped early if people lunge at him (see Couture fight and every fight after Fedor).

      Against Arlovski he was getting outstruck. He finished him spectacularly, but it put more doubt in my mind – could a strong striker beat him down if they had a good chin/didn’t screw up?

      Then he fought Rogers who he seemed to struggle with. Overeem then proceeded to toss him around like a doll.

      … Then of course, he lost to Werdum. This fight didn’t exactly shock me. It wasn’t like Fedor was some invincible destroyer like Anderson Silva. He’d fought a string of very lackluster guys and then showed a lot of holes and weaknesses against any good opponents.

      If he loses to Antonio Silva I won’t be surprised either. I actually think he’ll outstrike Fedor for the decision, and I put a £15 bet that both him and Arlovski will win (potential win of £117 whoop!).

      So what I don’t get is the hype that still surrounds Fedor. He’s a damn great top 5 HW but nothing more. It’s amazing that even once he lost it was considered somewhat of a fluke. A quick sub because Fedor was reckless… even the best lose sometime etc.

      • Kimbos Beard says:

        To clarify – before the Werdum loss, he still should’ve been ranked no. 1 due to his record, but I think there’s a lot of guys who could or would beat him.

        I also don’t think he’s remotely anywhere near as special as the hype train wants people to think.

        If he wins this tournament then he’s proven me wrong, but I really doubt he will.

  4. BillR says:

    SF is expecting 14,000+? Right now, anyone can go to Ticketmaster and buy blocks of 10 seats at every price level they offer. With just 48hrs to go, they must be hoping for a HUGE walk up. They already have a quarter of the arena cordoned off for their entrance and production. I know they gave away literally thousands of tickets at that rally in Manhattan on Tuesday.

    They made a crucial mistake in putting these tickets on sale a day after UFC 128 tickets went on sale for the nearby Prudential Center. Those tickets are selling okay for an event 5 weeks away. Bottom 3 price levels are sold out. I’m sure ticket brokers have scooped up a lot of those seats, so they may stay empty.

    SF is starting to radio advertise pretty heavily in the NY area this week, which is good. They are using the same guy who did the voiceover for the Monster Truck show that was there last week. Hopefully that doesn’t confuse some people as the ads are pretty similar. Should be a solid show.

  5. Zack says:

    Couture was the original offer, but I don’t really remember Lindland being a late replacement. I could be wrong.

    From 5oz of Pain:

    Couture also said that media reports claiming he was due to receive several million dollars per fight under his current contract were flatly untrue. He later said that he came out of retirement to fight for the UFC heavyweight title after turning down a $3 million dollar offer from the Bodog organization for a match with Fedor Emelianenko.

    “That’s more money than I’ve ever been offered to fight,” Couture said of the Bodog offer.

    • Couture was originally offered the fight, but turned it down and re-signed to the UFC. When the PPV and arena was booked, it was as Monson/Fedor. Monson checked out about 5 weeks prior to the event and Lindland was brought in as a later replacement for the sum of somewhere around $700K.

  6. mr. roadblock says:

    I imagine Saturday’s show will pull in a good crowd. There are a lot of people on the East Coast who want to see Fedor fight in person.

  7. smoogy says:

    M-1 is keeping Fedor away from American media? Is that why he was on that dumb, yet insanely popular Opie and Anthony radio show already this week, choking some comedian like every other “mainstream” MMA star? Iole needs to pull his head out and stop relying on Dana’s outdated talking points and his own dumb presumptions.

    Zach, I don’t get why you give Cofield and Iole so much space on this page. They express themselves almost entirely in moronic sports cliches.

  8. atn says:

    Iole using the Rogers fight to say it melted Fedor’s invicibility aura is ridiculous. I think it shows either how little he knows about Fedor’s fights or how weak his analytic skills are.

    What about all the other moments in his past fights (pre-Rogers) when Fedor almost seemed beaten only to recover and win in spectacular fashion ?

    I think Freddy Roach said it best (I’m paraphrasing here) “Fedor is a great champion; many times in his career he has found ways to surmount adversity and win; that’s what champions/legends are made of”.

    Anyhow, Werdum’s win may be the true source of Fedor’s aura fading, not the Rogers fight.

    That being said, Fedor remains one of the most entertaining fighters IMO and I always enjoy his fights. Can’t wait for Saturday night (fingers crossed) !

    • The Gaijin says:

      Anyone that actually watches the Rogers-Fedor fight and doesn’t just parrot the echo chamber (tm Zach Arnold) that is the internet mma community would know that it’s a ridiculous assertion that he pulled out a comeback victory. Hell the 1st round was an easy 10-9 Fedor and other than a 10 second span of G’n’P, he was in control of the fight w/ takedowns, a sub attempt and advantage standing.

      Seriously, go back and watch the fight…I think more than anything people were taken by surprise that Rogers didn’t get nuked in 15 seconds.

      • edub says:

        Agreed Gaij. I do think it showed Fedor’s sliding a little bit, but that’s just because he was so much further above everyone in the first place.

        I think people take the fact that he gets bloody in fights all the time a little too seriously.

        • mr. roadblock says:

          My big takeaway from the Rogers fight is how easily Rogers pushed Fedor around on the ground.

          Rogers isn’t very good on the ground, but he managed to toss Fedor off of him like a rag doll. That raised a big question about how Fedor would do against the new breed of big and athletic wrestlers.

          I think we’ve seen several times over the past few years that there’s a difference between the guys who were good at working submissions on the ground in Japan and the guys with a wrestling background in the U.S.

          That Fedor got popped in the nose and his nose bled isn’t a big deal. Fujita turned him into a zombie for a minute there and Fedor still won. That’s part of Fedor’s charm and aura. But I think from seeing him on the ground with Rogers that he’d have trouble getting up from underneath some of the big boys in UFC.

          It’s too bad we’ll probably never see Fedor vs any of the new breed of heavyweights.

          The SF tourney should be pretty fun. But it’s definitely full of guys who made their bones pre-2005.

        • Isaiah says:

          Are you talking about the kimura attempt? It didn’t look like Rogers pushed Fedor around as much as that Fedor put Rogers in his guard because he thought he could finish it that way. And then it was less than 10 seconds between Rogers escaping the kimura attempt and Fedor nearly landing an armbar, which led to them getting back up.

          It seems to me that there’s really a kind of hysteria involved in any analysis of Fedor. He’s kind of the Obama of MMA. BTW, I think the odds are strongly against him winning the SF tournament, not because he’s not the best HW in the world, but because he’s human and he’ll have to beat three good opponents, which is unlikely for anyone. Someone else pointed this out, but if his odds against Silva, Overeem, and Barnett are 70%, 60% and 70%, that gives him less than a 30% chance of winning the tournament, and less than even of making the finals.

  9. Chuck says:

    Bloody elbow put up the betting odds on who would be the likeliest to win the tournament. Here they are;

    Alistair Overeem +165
    Fedor Emelianenko +175
    Josh Barnett +325
    Fabricio Werdum +900
    Andrei Arlovski +1150
    Antonio Silva +1250
    Sergei Kharitonov +1800
    Brett Rogers +2000
    Field (Any fighter not listed – Chad Griggs, Gian Villante) +2500
    Shane Del Rosario +3500
    Valentijn Overeem +3700
    Lavar Johnson +4500
    Ray Sefo +5500

    Werdum being +900 is insane. And I think the betting odds is a little unfair to Sergei Kharitonov, considering that I think he will beat Arlovski. Rogers being the least likely of the fighters actively in the tournament doesn’t surprise me and is correct. Is Barnett being +325 because he is on the “easier” side of the bracket and is the most likely to be in the finals? Are the odds based on the brackets and 1st round matches? Then Kharitonov should probably be the fifth likeliest to win, behind Overeem, Fedor, Barnett, and Werdum, in probably that order. Followed by Silva, Arlovski, then Rogers.

    Gian Villante and Chad Griggs being ranked above Del Rosario is interesting. I highly disagree with it, but there it is. Overeem being the favorite and Fedor being right behind I absolutely agree with.


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