A few days ago Strikeforce announced a bit of a strange late addition to their next card – not quite so strange as Mirko Crocop suddenly re-appearing in the UFC against Moustafa Al-Turk, but close. June 6th will now also feature Andrei Arlovski versus Brett Rogers.
I’m not going to deny the fact that this fight is going to be hella entertaining, but at the risk of sounding like a party pooper I have to ask “What’s the point?” Strikeforce has made it their modus operandi lately to book a bunch of fluffy name fights, but at what cost? Their last show resulted in Frank Shamrock’s value dropping from headliner to headache. This fight is gonna do the same thing to Brett Rogers, pretty much the only up and coming prospect Strikeforce has in the heavyweight division.
Up until this point, Brett Rogers’ hardest opponent has been James Thompson – no wait, it’s Abongo Humphrey since he lasted longer. Now he’s being put up against a former UFC champ who’s ranked as a top 3 heavyweight and who’s last opponent was Fedor Emelianenko. Around the same time Arlovski was prepping for the Last Emperor, Brett Rogers was balancing tires at Sam’s Club for fuck’s sake.
As for why Affliction is giving away one of it’s biggest stars when it’s just been revealed that they’ll be back on August 1st, it comes down to economics. At this point Affliction isn’t so much throwing shows as they are fulfilling contractual obligations. The only people you’re going to see on their third and final major card are the ones who still have fights on their contracts left. In a way, we should be thankful that Tom Atencio and the gang were dumb enough to guarantee some fighters all three fights on their deals … if it wasn’t for that we probably wouldn’t be getting Barnett vs Fedor finally.