Top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko will make his Strikeforce debut against Brett Rogers this fall, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced at an open workout for Emelianenko on Wednesday in New York City.
A date and location have not yet been confirmed for the matchup, which ends weeks of speculation that have ensued after Emelianenko’s August 1 Affliction fight against Josh Barnett was canceled and he subsequently signed with Strikeforce following the collapse of Affliction. Earlier this month, Coker said Emelianenko’s debut would likely headline a November Showtime event.
Emelianenko (30-1) brings a 26-fight win streak into the contest that includes a reign as the heavyweight champion of PRIDE as well as back-to-back victories over Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski in his most-recent fights.
Like Emelianenko, Rogers (10-0) is also coming off a first-round knockout of the former UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski. “Grim” defeated Abongo Humphrey in April in his Strikeforce debut and previously won three-straight fights in EliteXC.
With Fedor now set to fight Rogers, Fabricio Werdum, the other likely opponent for Emelianenko, is likely to fight Strikeforce heavyweight title-holder Alistair Overeem at the promotion’s November or December event, with the winners then meeting in 2010.