Many of us (including myself) gave 'The Grim' a much better than slim chance of beating Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem on Saturday night. I mean, the guy had just made Fedor Emelianenko's face look like a Jason Voorhees victim before he was brutally knocked out. However, that's the thing...he was brutally knocked out. It seems most people did not factor in what the effects of a loss like that would be on the mammoth-yet-young Heavyweight. We saw those effects Saturday night. Rogers was overly cautious, back pedaling, and not throwing the heavy-handed combinations that got him this far. You see, there's a reason why the UFC can throw guys like Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar, and Cain Velasquez in with the big fish; they have a background or skillset in something other than punching people really hard. That's not a knock on Brett Rogers and his abilities, it's just a proven fact. When you're in competition with fighters that have fought some of the best the sport has ever seen and your biggest wins are against a glass-jawed Andrei Arlovski and James Thompson...it's a recipe for disaster.
The problem isn't Brett Roger's willingness to step in there with the best. That is admirable. The problem is Strikeforce not realizing that to build up a fighter with tons of potential but that is still lacking in numerous areas, you have to scale back on their competition or at least match them up with fighter's that will help them in the areas they are lacking in. This is something Joe Silva and co. are great at. This is why Cain Velasquez was put in the cage against Cheick Kongo, to test his chin as well as his ability to fight a well-known striker. The same with Shane Carwin, he was put in the cage with Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir, to possibly test his ground game. He passed both with flying colors. Sure those fights were dangerous for the aforementioned UFC heavyweights but they also were beneficial (to a certain extent) to each fighter. Strikeforce, for the most part, isn't absolutely void of decent enough heavyweights for Rogers to fight that won't be considered a horrible step back but give him ways to work on tools necessary to compete at the level they want him to. Just the vision of Rogers being ragdolled to the mat and then looking like a fish out of water off his back should be proof that he needs lots of time learning some grappling basics even if he was in there with one of the best. I think it's time for Strikeforce to realize that they have a big, heavy handed fighter whose biggest weapon, confidence, has been dismantled and until they help build that back up, we could see 'The Grim' on the wrong side of several more beatdowns in the near future.