Showtime announced today that Fedor Emelianenko (30-1) will face undefeated heavyweight Brett Rogers (10-0) in his Strikeforce debut this fall. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had pegged Rogers as one of two likely opponents for Emelianenko at the Carano vs. Cyborg post-fight press conference last week.
“I definitely think there’s two guys here that would be a quality opponent for Fedor,” Coker said of Rogers and Fabricio Werdum, who were present at the press conference.
“I think Brett Rogers is one of the guys we have to take a serious look at.”
Rogers, who is coming off of a 22 second first-round knockout victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in June, was one of the names rumored to replace Josh Barnett to face Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy earlier this month before that event was cancelled. Emelianenko’s camp made it clear at the time that they wanted Rogers to face Emelianenko.
“We personally entertain the idea of having Brett Rogers step in since he knocked Andrei Arlovski out,” Vadim Finkelstein, Emelianenko’s manager, said at the time. “If logistics weren’t an issue, we’d like to see Fedor fight against Brett Rogers. Fans want it (and) so do we.”
While Strikeforce has yet to announce a date or venue for the fight, it is expected to take place this November.