Despite being bloodied in the opening seconds of the fight, top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko did what most predicted he would, scoring a second-round knockout of previously undefeated Brett Rogers on Saturday in the main event of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers.
The bout capped off the promotion’s first CBS-televised event, which took place at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois just outside Chicago.
Rogers opened up a gash on Fedor’s nose with his first punch of the fight, but Emelianenko recovered to batter Rogers with punches throughout the round and also attempted several submissions, but was unable to earn the stoppage in the first.
The pair clinched to start the second but separated and squared off in the center of the cage, where Fedor dropped Rogers with an overhand right and forced the referee, “Big” John McCarthy, to intervene after several follow-up punches on the ground.
Fedor improves to 31-1 with the victory, extending his winning streak to 27-straight, while Rogers falls to 10-1 after suffering the first loss of his career.
After the bout, both Emelianenko and Rogers said they were open to a rematch, though both will almost certainly take on other opponents first. Fabricio Werdum, who won a hard-fought decision over Antonio Silva earlier on the card, and Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem could be next in line for Fedor, while Silva is among the possibilities for Rogers’ next fight.
Shields Tops “Mayhem” To Win Middleweight Title
In the evening’s co-headliner, Jake Shields was crowned Strikeforce’s middleweight champion with a unanimous decision victory over Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
Though Miller appeared closest to ending the fight, securing a tight rear naked choke in the third that he was forced to give up when the bell sounded, Shields was dominant on the ground in earning the victory, taking Miller’s back and getting to mount nearly at will.
Shields, who jumps to 24-4-1 with his 13th-straight win, captures the title which was vacated by Cung Le earlier this year and appears poised to fight the winner of a December 19 matchup between Le and Scott Smith, made official during Saturday’s event, in his first title defense next year.
Miller drops to 22-7 after the loss, his second in his past three fights.
Mousasi, Werdum Earn Main Card Wins
Once-feared striker Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou appeared improved in his non-title matchup with Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi, but in the end it was an outcome”The African Assassin” has become all too familiar with over the last two years, as Mousasi finished a tired Sokoudjou with punches in the second.
In a matchup of heavyweight contenders making their Strikeforce debuts, former UFC contender Fabricio Werdum took out former EliteXC champ Antonio Silva, who returned to the United States after serving a one-year steroid suspension while fighting in Japan.
Coenen Sets Up “Cyborg” Fight With Win; Curran Snaps Losing Streak
On the “Fedor vs. Rogers” preliminary card, Marloes Coenen quickly submitted Roxanne Modafferi to likely earn a title shot against champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos early next year, while Jeff Curran snapped his four-fight losing streak when opponent Dustin Neace was forced to quit due to a rib injury in the opening round.
The official results for Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers were:
- Fedor Emelianenko def. Brett Rogers via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 1:48
- Jake Shields def. Jason “Mayhem” Miller via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
- Gegard Mousasi def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 3:43
- Fabricio Werdum def. Antonio Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marloes Coenen def. Roxanne Modafferi via submission (armbar) — Round 1, 1:05
- Jeff Curran def. Dustin Neace via submission (injury) — Round 1, 1:39
- Shamar Bailey def. John Kolosci via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Nate Moore def. Louis Taylor via submission (strikes) — Round 2, 3:24
- Christian Uflacker def. Jonatas Novaes via unanimous decision (29-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Note: A scheduled fight between Deray Davis and Mark Miller was scratched due to time constraints.