- Brian Knapp
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Fedor Emelianenko will make his Strikeforce debut in a showdown with undefeated heavyweight Brett Rogers, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced on Wednesday during the Russian superstar's public workout at the Fighthouse Gym in New York City. No date or venue was announced.
Unbeaten in his last 27 fights, Emelianenko (30-1, 1 NC) flattened former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia in his most recent outings. The 32-year-old Russian knocked out Arlovski with one punch 3:14 into their match at Affliction "Day of Reckoning" in January but has not competed since.
Hard to handle on his feet and on the ground, Emelianenko has finished his last five opponents inside one round and holds victories against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and former UFC heavyweight champions Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman. He has delivered 23 of his 30 career wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
Rogers (10-0), meanwhile, launched himself into the national spotlight when he dismantled Arlovski in 22 seconds at a Strikeforce show in June. The 28-year-old Minnesotan has finished all 10 of his opponents and stands as a formidable physical challenge for Emelianenko. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound EliteXC veteran will own a significant height and weight advantage when the two meet.