On Nov. 20,Â Fedor EmelianenkoÂ will fightÂ Jeff Monson. If youâre at the Olympic Arena in Moscow, Russia, where the fight is being held, this takes place at a reasonable hour; in the United States, it occurs either during your snooze button moments or in full blast REM sleep, depending on your coast (7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT).
M-1 Global and Integrated Sports Media are euphemistically calling this presentation âBreakfast with Fedor,â and you can order the fight for âonlyâ .95. This is a âsuggested retail price,â but itâs doubtful thereâs much room for haggling.
Either way, Breakfast with the Beatles was always free. And this fight card -- which also features Xavier Foupa-Pokam, the mysterious âProfessor Xâ -- appears to be aimed at two types: Fedor fetishists and vampires with disposable income.
Itâs not so much the hour as it is the price to see Fedor try and snap a three-fight losing streak against a 40-year-old anarchist riding a 9-1 run over his last 10 fights. Thirty bucks is a lot to ask to see if that sinking feeling is legit. If you consider Emelianenko one of the greatest fighters of all time, you are not alone; but if you still believe in his ability to get it done, you are the narrowing demographic in play here. You are the turnip out of which blood is being drawn. In that way, you are being punished for caring.
It doesnât help matters that just hours beforehandÂ Dan HendersonÂ -- Emelianenkoâs last opponent -- will have foughtÂ Mauricio RuaÂ in a PPV event at UFC 139. He could still be celebrating in the wild streets of San Jose when the M-1 Global card gets rolling. Talk about your divergent courses after the two met in Hoffman Estates back in July.
The difference is, the Hendo/Rua fight will have contention at stake. In the early-bird Emelianenko bout with Monson, itâs something more like nostalgia -- a desperation heave for relevancy with a fat fee. And if thatâs how a twilight fighter is being handled in the course of a three-fight losing bender, imagine the next one if heâs on a one-fight winning streak? (Donât be surprised if M-1 charges for the violin music, should that losing streak be run to four).
Emelianenko is a legend. He will always have appeal as a fighter, based on his demeanor, his style and his legacy. The truth is, if you like MMA, the idea of two heavyweights swinging acrimoniously at each other as the sun comes isnât going to offend. But, given the context, to watch it might.
And though youâd never want to sleep on a legend like Fedor Emelianenko eking his way back into the picture, this might be the one occasion where itâs just too tempting not to.