On Saturday, Bay Area sports fans in San Jose should be doing only one thing: heading to the HP Pavillion to watch Strikeforce's "Fedor vs. Werdum" If you're at least slightly interested in the sport of MMA or combat sports in general it should be something to watch.
Why? Because not only does it showcase the indisputable best female MMA fighter in the world in Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, it also features arguably the greatest male MMA fighter in the history of the sport in Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko.
Currently, Fedor is the number one world ranked heavyweight by many credible outlets and in the main event on Saturday he clashes with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Fabricio Werdum. Werdum has credible wins over Gabriel Gonzaga, Allistair Overeem and Fedor's brother, Aleksander Emelianenko. Fedor has credible wins over... well just about anyone. Fedor's lone loss comes from a disqualification in which he was cut by an illegal elbow and deemed unable to continue fighting, due to the fight being in a tournament format, Emelianenko had to take a loss.
Since then, Fedor has won 32 consecutive fights, broken only by a no contest between Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira, whom Fedor has soundly beaten by unanimous decision on two other occasions.
When you look at him, he doesn't look like much. He's not very ripped, he's not tall, often suffers a huge size disadvantage (just see his fight with Hong-Man Choi or 6-foot-11 kickboxer Semmy Schilt) and just doesn't look like a very intimidating man. His most "notorious" image on the internet is of Fedor happily eating an ice cream cone.
But it's utter domination. If Fedor fights a striker, he strikes with them. If he fights a wrestler, Fedor will almost lazily give up his back and get taken down, only to proceed to dominate his opponent from his back. If he fights a Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu practioner, Fedor will grab a hold of a limb and pull until it either snaps or his opponent taps out. It's surreal.
To put it simply, Fedor is the most cerebral fighter I've ever seen. There has been much lately about people claiming Fedor can't be the best in the world because he isn't fighting the best in the world right now. Two things... One: Werdum is top-ten ranked heavyweight. Two: Fedor has been ranked number one for the past eight years. He's been fighting since 1999. Fedor can retire right now and be considered the best mixed matial artist to ever step into a ring, an octagon, or whatever.
It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Fedor will get the win on Saturday, but it's the intrigue, coupled with, what I consider to be an honor, of watching one of the sports' best compete. Maybe Werdum can pull something out of nowhere - he's done it before.
As for "Cyborg" Santos, she too is almost guaranteed a win, but at the very least we will all be treated to a brutal first round knockout as the sport's best female is just too much for her opponent, Jan Finney, who is fighting at a weight class she doesn't belong in.
Also on the card is a rematch between Cung Le and Scott Smith, which promises to be an entertaining bout. Le dominated Smith for the better part of two rounds when they last met, only to get blitzed and brutally knocked out by "The Comeback Kid."
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum is Saturday, tickets are still available to see it live at the HP Pavillion in San Jose or you can view it live for free on Showtime. Don't miss out on this opportunity to see arguably the sport's best male and female fighters. If they win, you watched legends fight. If they lose, you witnessed amazing upsets that will go down in MMA history. Win-win for you.