Everything was going according to plan; Fedor walked out to that creepy Russian opera music, wearing the stoic facial expression that can only be changed by the delight of soft-served ice cream. The broadcast team sat silent in awe of the sports’ greatest combatant for the entire opening half-minute of the fight, only to be broken by laughter as Fedor floored Werdum with a flurry of patented looping punches. The Russian dove to the ground after the Brazillian jiu jitsu champ, smelling blood and looking to make it a short night of work, but then something we’ve never seen… Fedor tapped to an iron-tight triangle choke. Holy shit.
Fedor Emelianenko lost his throne Saturday night via triangle choke at 1:09 of the first round. You can stop pinching yourself, it really did happened, and unfortunately there’s video evidence.
Despite the foreign feeling of defeat Emelianenko never strayed from grace, saying to the crowd in the post-fight interview, “To rise you must first fall.” Oh Fedor, you’re so wise.
Now Strikeforce and Scott Cooker are left with tough decisions. The winner of the bout was supposed to face Alistair Overeem in the promotions’ first attempt at the pay-per-view revenue model. Only the winner was supposed to be Fedor. Now it seems all parties have changed opinions as Werdum said he’d like to offer Fedor an immediate rematch and that despite beating him that evening, “Fedor is still the best.” Scott Cooker appeared to agree, saying he believed a rematch between the greatest legend in the sport and the only man to defeat him was a pay-per-view draw in itself.
It could work out perfectly as Strikeforce can use Fedor to spring themselves’ forward into the pay-per-view model without potentially forfeiting a belt to a fighter on the last bout of his contract. That would be dumb.
It remains to be seen how the loss affects Fedor’s future. Most fans have begged for years to see him compete with the best the UFC has to offer, though Dana White – who had a simple reaction to Saturday night’s conclusion – and M-1 Global have never reached an agreement.
There’s no doubt Fedor is still one of the top heavyweights in the world. If he’s able to come back and defeat Werdum in convincing fashion D.W. will be hearing from the hardcores I’m sure…