I guess to make up for all the “Fedor / the UFC is gonna kill Strikeforce” talk, some outlets have been running the interesting idea that upon closer inspection, Strikeforce’s heavyweight division is just as stacked as the UFC’s. Here’s Jake Rossen again:
Setting aside interdivisional fights with Anderson Silva or Lyoto Machida — which would be lots of fun for spectators — the UFC really has only three upper-tier heavyweights with the skills to potentially give Emelianenko a hard time: Lesnar, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. Three.
Strikeforce can match the ante with Alistair Overeem, Brett Rogers and some kind of wild-card entrant: Bobby Lashley, Blagoi Ivanov, perhaps even Josh Barnett.
The notion that Strikeforce employs air-conditioning repairmen and the UFC enlists only Olympic-caliber athletes is pushing the envelope; I’d almost sooner see Emelianenko go on a free-agent tear for a year or two before settling in with the UFC, considering that the promotion’s asphyxiating contracts invite retirement at their conclusions.
The problem here is that Rossen only lists UFC fighters he thinks has a chance of beating Fedor while his Strikeforce list happily features not only fighters Fedor would starch, but fighters Fedor would starch that aren’t even in the promotion. And you start to realize how thin the free agent situation is when the best Rossen can think of is Blobby Lay’n’Pray, Broken Hands Blagoi, and Juice Barnett.
The idea that Fedor fights against Alistair Overeem or Brett Rogers are equal to Fedor bouts against Brock, Randy, and even Mirko is laughable. Fedor is the best so of course he’s going to be the favorite in most fights. Past that all you can do is find interesting and compelling competition that people give a shit about. I give a shit about Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers, but I’m an MMA blogger. And even then, these fights excite me about as much as seeing some fat chick’s muffin top oozing over her stretch pants. I’ll take a look because I’m desperate and horny, but it really doesn’t do much for me.
Let’s face it: Right now all the boner inducing Fedor fights are in the UFC. Even if you buy into the idea that the UFC only has as many good fights as Strikeforce does, the UFC’s good fights make Strikeforce’s good fights look like shit fights. That’s not to say Strikeforce can’t turn things around … Cris Cyborg busted outta nowhere to become Gina Carano’s perfect opponent, and one epic performance from Overeem or Rogers or hey even Arlovski (a Strikeforce heavyweight that didn’t make it on anyone’s potential opponent list) could do the same. But it’s gonna take a whole lot of building and some miracles in the cage before anyone really gives a shit about the competition Fedor could face in Strikeforce.