photo by Esther Lin for Strikeforce
The destruction of Fabricio Werdum at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko is so probable, many outlets may have already written the post-fight recap, and are merely waiting for the event to happen to publish their stories. But there are three distinct ways that Werdum can succeed against the Russian titan—not necessarily the method being submission, stoppage or decision, but the possibility of Fedor overlooking Werdum, Emelianenko sustaining an injury or illness, or Werdum simply being the better fighter on the night.
Although Georges St. Pierre ranks highly as a pound-for-pound star, his 2007 decision to grossly under-estimate Matt Serra’s ability meant he only trained a handful of times for their first fight; Serra shocked the world with a first-round stoppage win. Is Fedor looking past Werdum?
“He belongs to the top ten fighters, and he proved that a long time ago. He performed with some very great names—that can be seen from his record,” explained Fedor at the pre-fight press conference on Wednesday, clearly aware of the danger posed by his opponent.
BJ Penn was another fighter who appeared unbeatable at 155 lbs. Yet there were reports that he was battling a sinus infection going into his defense against Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. It might sound like an excuse, but all fighters can be prone to injury or sickness, and such handicaps inevitably affect performance, even in minute ways. Edgar walked away with a razor-close decision, but we can’t discount the fact that BJ didn’t look himself in that fight.
Emelianenko did dislocate his thumb against Brett Rogers, something he addressed during the open conference call, telling the media “Everything is fine,” and reassuring everyone that he was at 100%, “It has healed great.”