Brett Rogers got a lot of attention for saying Fedor Emelianenko can be a sloppy fighter. The thing is, is that Rogers is right. Good as Fedor is, he doesn't have flawless fights. Sometimes they are ugly.
“His weakness? He can get sloppy. He can get sloppy when he’s standing, because he throws too many combinations and he puts his hands down, that’s one thing that I see. He likes to flurry and he leaves himself open. And he ducks his head a lot too.”
It's not Fedor's standup fighting where his makes most of his mistakes, though, it's in his grappling. For every amazing move he pulls off, he gets into trouble.
- Against Kevin Randleman, the famous body slam
- Against Mark Hunt, getting caught on the bottom of side mount after flubbing a takedown
- Against Hong Man Choi. Don't tell me he really wanted to end up with Choi on top.
- In many (mostly early) fights, where his ground moves are reversed
The thing is, Fedor just moves on to the next thing. He doesn't dwell on what went wrong, he just changes the game plan based on the new situation.
Rogers wants to cause Fedor to be sloppy, and if he does it won't be anything new. But he has to go the next step and capitalize on the mistake like no one has so far. Rogers definitely has a chance. MMA is a very unpredictable sport. But if he wins the jury will still be out as to whether it was a fluke. With only 10 fights (all wins) it's hard to say how good he really is. Beating Fedor would be huge, but in this sport anyone can beat anyone on a given day. That Fedor's managed such a winning streak is remarkable, but all streaks end.
Rogers will be the big news in MMA if he can pull it off tonight. If he's counting on Fedor to fight him sloppy—especially in stand up, rather than taking it to the ground—he's banking on what has been a losing strategy for all of Fedor's opponents over the last several years.