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Takeaways from Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers

(1) Saturday night’s Strikeforce show was a huge step in the right direction for MMA. “Fedor vs. Rogers” was broadcast on CBS with millions of viewers. In contrast to the EliteXC-promoted, Kimbo-headlined shows from last year, the Strikeforce card featured the greatest heavyweight fighter in the history of the sport perform in the main event, as well as a slew of other top-ranked fighters. Those who have been living in a cave for the past few years and have yet to be exposed to this cage fighting stuff saw a legitimate sporting event on Saturday night, and that can’t be anything but good for the sport as a whole.

(2) Frank Shamrock seriously needs to upgrade to Invisalign. Seriously. The guy is being put on network television in front of millions of people, and I can’t pay attention to anything coming out of his mouth because I can’t stop staring at what’s in his mouth. He looks absolutely ridiculous and I simply won’t stand for it.

(3) Brett Rogers is legitimate. “The Grim” did what very few people have been able to do: make Fedor look human. Despite questions surrounding his ground game, Rogers held his own on the mat with the Russian and scored some serious points with his ground-and-pound. With only 11 fights under his belt, he’s still a baby in this sport, but if his performance on Saturday is any indication, the kid has a bright future in the human cockfighting industry.

(4) Jake Shields is highly talented; boring as fuck. Listen, I grappled for a while. I love BJJ and plan on getting back into it in a few months when I have more time. But shit, Jake Shields’ fights are quickly becoming a reason to go grab a beer or take a shit. The only thing that made that fight exciting was Mayhem’s ability to get out of precarious positions. Fighters like BJ Penn, Demian Maia, and Shinya Aoki are highly entertaining to watch on the ground. Shields’ methodic posititoning and control is the opposite. It’s also hard to imagine the California-based fighter competing with the top guys at either welterweight or middleweight. At 170, I think GSP, as well as Shields’ training partners Koscheck and Fitch, would give him seriously headaches in the cage. At 185 Silva, Marquardt, and Hendo would literally push his shit in. Sadly, there’s little hope for anyone on the Strikeforce roster to beat the guy. The winner of the upcoming Cung Le-Scott Smith bout would likely get schooled on the ground in quick fashion.

(5) Fedor is going to be a superstar. The numbers right now are indicating that about 4 million people watched the card between 9 and 11. While the numbers for the main event aren’t out yet, I’m sure they’ll be somewhere around 4.5 million. That means a large amount of the US television audience bore witness to Fedor’s dominance. A lot of people have been questioning the man’s marketability in this country — especially those dudes over at Bloody Elbow — but a big Russian who beats the shit out of people will sell. No doubt about it. Over the course of his next few fights, look for Fedor to become the biggest MMA star not promoted by Zuffa.