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Does Strikeforce need Fedor Emelianenko to take the next step as a promotion?


Not according to the head of the company:

"Do we need him to take the next step? I would say no. But was it a good move for the company? I would say yeah because he's a guy that will move the needle. When you're a promoter, these are the four things I look for: Do you have drawing power at the gate? Do you move the needle for TV ratings? Can you obtain media? Are you going to be able to create the buzz for a big event? Fedor does all those things. He moves the needle in the TV ratings, for sure. He moves the needle as far as the gate goes. I personally think that next year (2011) will be a big step for him even though he's been fighting for such a long time and you and I know him, I used to watch him fight in PRIDE back in Japan when I was working in K-1, so the guys a legend in the sport but a lot of the everyday fans here don't know who he is yet. So, by the end of 2011, people will know who Fedor Emelianenko is here in America."

In an interview with, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker lets it be known that while he enjoys having Fedor Emelianenko on the roster, he doesn't believe he needs him for the goals he has set forth for his organization. Sure, the legendary heavyweight "moves the needle," but does his perceived lack of exposure in the U.S. hurt his value? "The Last Emperor" suffered his first loss in 29 fights back in June and negotiations to get him back in the cage are ongoing. According to Coker though, once the wily Russian does return, he'll be putting himself on the map -- if they can come to an agreement regarding his contract. However, the question remains -- has (arguably) the greatest fighter of all time become expendable?

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