Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fedor is amazing

For those who don't follow MMA, last night CBS aired four fights that Strikeforce promoted in Chicago. The highlight and main event of the group was the heavyweight match between Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianeko and Brett "The Grim" Rogers. It was another win for Fedor, amazing not because he won, which everyone expected, but because of the path to victory.

Fedor, as pretty much everyone calls him, is a legendary heavyweight who entered the bout with 30 wins and 1 loss--and the loss was a stoppage due to a cut. He's really never been beaten.

Rogers had 10 wins and no losses and was the bigger of the two by over 30 pounds. He also had a huge reach advantage.

Rogers began by hitting Fedor with a jab that cut--and, as we later learned but suspected from watching, also broke--his nose. Fedor's expression never changed. Rogers did everything right in the first round, even escaping when Fedor took him down and reversing the position another time. I think you could make a good case that Rogers won the first round. Rogers definitely did everything he should have done to shake Fedor.

Rogers, though, was clearly gassing.

Fedor was not. His expression was also not visibly affected in any way by the first round's events. His face was battered, but he remained completely calm.

Fedor opened the second round looking more confident despite the broken nose and, we later learned, an injury to his left hand. He began hitting with more confidence. After a short back-and-forth bit, Fedor ducked under a Rogers punch and hit with an almost jumping right hook that sent Rogers down and, after a few follow-up shots, gave Fedor the win.

Fedor doesn't look like the best heavyweight MMA fighter alive. He doesn't look a lot like a fighter. His expression almost never changes. He won't speak to the press before a fight. He lives and trains in his hometown. He doesn't ever seem to worry about the latest techniques or the hottest training camp.

He just wins, his expression never changing, a slight smile at the end all the public celebration he seems to permit himself.

In a world full of athletes hyping their every accomplishment, and in a sport charged with chest-thumping fighters trying to boil off their testosterone after shorter than expected fights, Fedor's unchanging demeanor remains an amazing and welcome change--and his skills once again prove to be beyond question.


J. Griffin Barber said...

It seemed to me that the Grimm was a bit more tentative than he (or his trainers) wanted to be in the first round.

His only hope was to flatten Fedor in the first round. Once Fedor figures your style and tempo, the result is a foregone conclusion.

Mark said...

Hey, Griffin. Yeah, Rogers was more tentative than he should have been, but I'm not sure he could have beaten Fedor in any case.

Kyle said...

His camp is now saying that his nose wasn't broken, though it looked pretty much sideways to me.

Obligatory Fedor pic.

Mark said...

Yeah, it looked broken to me, too.


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