Saturday’s Strikeforce card on Showtime was fantastic, starting with the prelims and extending to the main event. The headliner fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Big Foot Silva provided all the excitement one could have asked for, and it delivered as big of an upset as you’ll see in March Madness. The only difference is that with the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix eight-man tournament, the upset came a month early.
Here are highlights of the fight:
Look, I’ll say this straight up: I’m a big Fedor fan and think the world of the man. He is my guy. Obviously I hated to see him go out like that and I was even more crushed when he talked retirement after the loss. But I still believe that the doctor stopped the fight too early. Was Fedor hurt? Definitely. Was he getting beaten in the fight? No doubt. But was he still capable of protecting himself and — dare I say — capable of pulling off a victory? You bet.
After suffering punishment for 4:30 of the second round, Fedor climbed out and began cranking Silva’s foot, hoping for a late-round submission. He didn’t come close, but obviously he was still in a position to compete. He had won the first round on two of the three judges’ cards meaning even if he didn’t score a knockout or submission in the third, he still had a very good chance of winning the fight based on points. As bad of a beating as he took in the second round, he still could have won that fight.
I know the ringside doctor was looking out for Fedor’s health, but I think another criteria that should have factored into the decision was how competitive he was. Emelianenko is a legend, and legend’s are capable of miracles. How many times have we seen Fedor in a vulnerable position only to escape with a miraculous win? You don’t become one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and reel off 27 straight wins without being capable of pulling off the impossible. Was it unlikely for him to have won that fight had it continued? Yes. Was it possible? Definitely. In that sense, I think the wrong call was made. Heck, even Silva was surprised it was stopped, and Alistair Overeem didn’t think it should have been stopped.Google+