Fedor Emelianenko (30-1) will be making his highly anticipated Strikeforce debut later this fall against Brett Rodgers (10-0), who says he is looking forward to the fight. Rogers recently talked to FanHouse, and said he has been studying Fedor’s technique in preparation for the biggest fight of his career.
“I’ve been watching a handful of his fights, but the ones I’m really going to concentrate on are his last five, because those are the ones that really matter,” he confessed. “Going way back in time, those are the ones that he improves his skills. I want to see where he’s at right now. So he has some loopholes. When he gets excited that’s when he can get caught. That’s the way I see it, especially if he wants to stand and bang with me. Otherwise, I can see a ground-and-pound game, too. I’m definitely not going to allow him to lead the fight. That’s just not happening.”
The MMA heavyweight admitted that this is the fight of his life, that could earn him respect in the highly competitive MMA field.
“I don’t fight for fun. I fight for the title; I fight for the money, and the respect,” Rogers admitted. “That’s me, and a lot of folks need to know that. I don’t care to just get in and have fun.”
Rogers also spoke frankly about UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, whom he considers “overrated.”
“Brock is overrated,” he noted. “I mean, look at how many fights he’s had; he’s had a handful fights. He’s only showcased that he’s just a wrestler and a ground-and-pounder. I mean, he hasn’t fought anybody the same size as him.”
As for Rogers’ size, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Minnesotan has a distinct height and reach advantage over 6’0”, 233 pound Fedor. But Rogers says it’s his skills that will get him the win against the Russian heavyweight.
“I’m going to knock him out,” he predicted. “He’s going to give me his chin, somehow, someway. He’s going to get sloppy with that overhand right that he loves to do or he’ll try to shoot in for a takedown, and I’ll catch him with either a knee or an uppercut … something. I’m going to drop him. I want the crowd to go (gasp). I want to get that reaction out of people. So I can’t wait.”
While Strikeforce has yet to announce a date or venue for the fight, it is expected to take place this November.