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They say timings everything in life. Matter of fact, AL PACINO in ANY GIVEN SUNDAY  has one of the best movie monologues about “timing”. Well; the match up of CHAEL SONNEN and FEDOR EMELIANENKO at it’s base is one of the most intriguing fights that could happen on the BELLATOR  roster. And it goes down at a “perfect time”; if there is such a thing. It’s almost as if the gods in the heavens want to replay a little bit of history.

The U.S. and Russia have had a long love-hate relationship. From WW2, to the cold war, to luke warm times, to tensions right now; the cycle keeps turning (that’s not even thinking about Fedor recently being drilled by the FBI in Chicago). That goes for real life, the sports world, and the “fantasy world”; whether it’s the 1980 Miracle On Ice, or Rocky/Apollo/Drago. More than any other match-ups of two countries; there’s just SOMETHING about the U.S. VS RUSSIA. This summer the film CREED 2 comes out. It’s believed story line has Apollo’s son Adonis and Drago’s son intertwined. It’s only fitting that 2 of the biggest MMA stars repping the US and RUSSIA mix it up too. The fact that only one of the two in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix at this very second is inconsequential. Both have had amazingly long storied careers with major highs and extreme lows.

Both fighters are not what they once were, but still have their moments. Chael’s a cagey vet with a great fight IQ. Although almost 2 thirds of the 41 year old wrestler’s 30 wins come via decision. It seems his legs are back under him after back to back wins. Defeating a younger, stronger, than Fedor; RAMPAGE might just have been the perfect test for him. It’s not by any means a walk in the park for Emelianenko. There is a solid path to the finals for Sonnen. Take the Russian down, ride him like a big ol’ bull, and pound away to tire him out. Fedor point blank is on the Mount Rushmore of MMA fighters; at least the heavyweight mountain. And the image of him finally capturing another title does have a nice ring to it. However; his truly best days are long behind him. In a baseball term he’s gone from throwing mid 90’s to high 80’s. He is a tad slower; but still dangerous and can bang with the best of them. There have been some holes found in his game going from “a ring” to “the cage”. His 2 Bellator fights have a similarity to them. While Mitrione was just a tad quicker in recovering, Mir charged in. Both guys are plodders. Chael moves better than both. It’ll be hard-ER for Fedor to connect with Sonnen. If he does connect though, it can end fast. Fedor does have 25 1st round finishes under his belt. Not all by KO/TKO either (16 submissions). Although the last time he submitted someone was July 2008 vs TIM SYLVIA. It’s safe to say the way most would see it; is the longer this fight goes the edge moves to “THE AMERICAN GANGSTER”. The press conferences will also be classic. Chael doing the chirping and the one liners (ala apollo) and Fedor remaining his quiet stoic self (ala drago).

Either way, no matter who wins this semi-final fight; it’s gonna be an interesting summer for the U.S.  and RUSSIA.


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