Saturday night marked MMA's return to primetime on CBS featuring the world's consensus number 1 heavyweight fighter in the world, Fedor Emelianenko, against Brett Rogers, in the evenings main event. The event aired live in front of a sold out crowd of over 11,000 on the CBS Television Network at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Emelianenko (31-1) was able to weather an early storm by the previously unbeaten Brett Rogers to garner his 11th straight victory. Rogers, who outweighed the Russian champion by over 35 pounds, cut Emelianenko early with a stiff jab and later mounted Emelianenko and dropped a some serious ground-and-pound on the stoic Russian, who looked to be in serious trouble before scrambling out and landing some big blows of his own.
Emelianenko landed a huge right in the second frame which sent Rogers reeling to the canvas and essentially ended the fight. The loss drops Rogers record to 10-1, but Rogers gained a ton of clout with a very solid showing against the man many consider to be the greatest fighter in the world.
"I doubted myself a little bit," Rogers said. "I should have threw my hands a lot more. That's the only reason I failed today. I'm coming back stronger. I'm so heated I can't even put it to words."
Emelianenko was a bit more effusive in his praise for Rogers.
"No doubt Brett is a great fighter, but I watched his footwork and I found some things to exploit with his footwork. The main thing is not to be nervous, to take some time in the first round to learn a little bit about the opponent and then to look for an advantage."
Rogers adamantly expressed his desire to face Emelianenko again, all but promising a different outcome the second time around, but he'll likely have to get to the back of the line with Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem looming. Emelianenko will likely face Overeem next or Fabricio Werdum should Overeem vacate his title.
Below is a look at the full event results from Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers:
- Jake Shields def. Jason "Mayhem" Miller via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
- Marlos Coenen def. Roxanne Modafferi via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 1:03