June 26, 2010 marked the night Fedor Emelianenko would taste ”actual” defeat for the first time in his MMA career. In a bout to determine the next challenger for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, Fabrico Werdum submitted Emelianenko at 1:09 of the first round. After getting rocked, Werdum fell to the canvas and Emelianenko followed him carelessly. Falling into the guard of an experienced grappler such as Werdum was a huge mistake, and likely one that he won’t make again.

Following the loss, many have questioned where Emelianenko goes from here. M-1 Global has expressed interest in a rematch, but it is unlikely with Werdum being out of action until possibly next year. But that’s beside the point. Werdum won, it’s that simple. Yes, Emelianenko made a rookie mistake, but he lost. A rematch would only complicate things further.

Prior to the fight, Scott Coker stated that the winner would be next in line to face current heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. With Werdum out for the remainder of 2010, it is now a possibility that an Overeem vs. Emelianenko fight will still take place. Although the bout will not get as much hype as originally anticipated due to Emelianenko’s loss, it is still a huge draw. Overeem proved he is still the best heavyweight within the organization when he defeated Brett Rogers with ease back in May.

Even though the bout would bring in big money for Strikeforce, it also takes away the true essence of being the champion. After Emelianenko defeated Rogers, it was assumed that Rogers was out of the title picture, but we were wrong. Instead of giving Emelianenko the title fight many feel he rightfully deserved, it was given to Rogers. But what if Rogers had won? Could we honestly say he is the real champion after coming off such a loss? The same goes for Emelianenko if he is granted a title shot. If the fight does happen, expect many to question the true meaning of the Strikeforce title belt.

The fight that makes the most sense for Emelianenko is Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. Coming off a unanimous decision victory over Andrei Arlovski, Silva is a solid opponent for Emelianenko. Silva’s size and jiu-jitsu could pose legitimate threats. A win over Emelianenko would be the biggest of his career and possibly in the mix for a title shot.

Despite the rumors of what Fedor will do next, we will all just have to wait and see what Coker and his team can come up with.

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