Now, what if part of your job was to create a reasonable case for Brett Rogers and sell it to the audience as it is for the CBS announce team comprised of Gus Johnson, Mauro Ranallo and Frank Shamrock? Could you come up with something more compelling without sounding like a snake oil salesman? Eh, probably not, and neither could they. Here’s Gus, Mauro and Frank basically saying the same thing everyone else is with a little window dressing.
I think what Brett Rogers provides more than all the fights that I’ve seen with Fedor, and I had a chance to watch a lot of his fights last week, (including) the Fujita fight, and Fujita hit him with a fluky punch on the side of the head. I think Brett Rogers is the kind of fighter that not only is he big, he has feline quickness and he’s a big puncher with both hands. Also, I think his muay Thai skills, as we saw in the “Abongo” (Ron Humphrey) fight, is starting to improve. Word out of his camp is he’s out in California rolling with some guys, Josh Barnett (is) one of the guys he’s working with. He’s trying to work on trying to have his body be flexible enough if he gets caught in a heelhook or an ankle lock or if he’s in Fedor’s guard, his goal is to be able to just stand up because he does want to fight Fedor on his fight.
I think a guy like Brett Rogers –- and again, not wanting to hype more then necessary –- but he does have the knockout power, the punching power. I think he needs to aggressively pursue Fedor, but also use his head –- almost like what (Mauricio) “Shogun” Rua did to (Lyoto) Machida over the weekend, in that you need to be patient. I know it’s an oxymoron, but it’s gotta be patient aggression.
The only guy I’ve ever saw hurt Fedor was a big 240-pound Japanese wrestler named (Kazuyuki) Fujita. He got him deceptively. Even though he was a wrestler, he pulled him into a punching game. (Fujita) had planned a strategy counter –- he saw a hole in Fedor’s punching game. I feel (Fedor) didn’t expect that.
I think really somebody with exceptional skill and ability, but with a deceptive or a feinting (strategy) could catch him.
In semi-related news, Fedor, despite never proven to be North American draw, is apparently making ad sales a lot easier for CBS than Kimbo Slice did.
“I think (Fedor) made it a lot easier for our sales guys and our sales are going very, very well for this fight,” said Kahl. “To be able walk in with a presentation and show Fedor shows a credibility and it speaks volumes to have a world-class fighter and maybe the best in the world. I think it certainly made it an easier sell than maybe we’ve had in the past.”
Kahl said movies studios, automobile purveyors, and video game companies are among those that have bought commercial slots.
“EA Sports is unveiling a preview of their MMA game in this fight exclusively,” said Kahl. “In terms of getting mainstream sports reporters interested, Fedor gives us the credibility that maybe we didn’t have before. It alerts a lot of people who maybe didn’t know who Kimbo Slice is, but they certainly know who Fedor is.”
I’m kind of shocked to hear that last statement, almost to the point of disbelief, but hey, if sales are going as well as Kahl says they are, that can only be a good thing, right? Kahl says they need to see how see how they do on Nov. 7 before they’ll commit to another show, but if the ratings reflect their early success, I don’t see why they wouldn’t.
One last thing, Fedor has never been accused of being a technical striker in the traditional sense but that doesn’t mean his unorthodox striking style isn’t technical in his world of combat sambo. Here’s a video via The Fight Nerd demonstrating the mechanics and reasoning behind the “casting punch” that Fedor has used so effectively over the years. What’s interesting is it serves more of a purpose than just hitting people in the face, it also sets up throws and other grappling techniques.