In only his eleventh professional fight, Brett Rogers was handed what many would consider a nightmare of a match up. While a victory over the Russian sensation Fedor Emelianenko would have launched Rogers into territory that remains uncharted, taking on such a dynamic fighter can have its downsides.
Rogers stated in the post-fight press conference that he “wanted to get the jaws dropping”. However, Emelianenko was the one who had the fans in awe.
Like the odds suggested, Rogers was well over-matched, losing to Emelianenko in the second round via technical knockout. The knockout was Rogers’ first ever loss, and, needless to say, he did not enjoy the experience, as he was clearly upset in both the post-fight interview and press conference.
He was also disappointed at the time of stoppage by referee “Big” John McCarthy stating in the press conference: "I was down, but I wasn’t out.”
Whether Rogers was indeed “down, but not out” is up to speculation. However, the loss that has been added to a record is as official as it gets. Rogers is not happy about the loss, but now understands what a loss is about.
“I’ve never felt a loss, but now I respect it,” stated Rogers, who also had a clear respect, and maybe even fear, for his mysterious opponent.
In fact, the respect he had for Emelianenko seemed to cause Rogers tentativeness to let his hands go, as he came out in a noticeably different manner than he did against Andrei Arlovski this past summer at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields.
Rogers realized the negative changes and continuously stated that he needed to let his hands loose if he wanted to win. “If I threw more…” was the phrase Rogers’ used to sum up his unfortunate performance. However, the loss taught Rogers a vital lesson.
“I learned that I just need to trust in my instincts a little more,” explained Rogers.
The Illinois native's disappointment was extremely noticeable in the minutes and hours following the fight. Even though Emelianenko lands in the No. 1 heavyweight spot in the world, Rogers truly did not expect to lose the fight.
However, as disappointed as Rogers was, he believes he is a legitimate heavyweight and can roll with the best.
“I don’t see myself as a low class fighter,” explained Rogers. “I feel that I can fight with the best and I will fight with the best.”
Rogers certainly has come a long way since he made his professional debut in April of 2006. Although he may have earned his first loss this weekend, losing to Fedor Emelianenko is hardly something to hang your head about.
The fact that Rogers was even matched up with a fighter on the professional level of Emelianenko displays the progress of the Chicago native.
The result of the fight may have been “grim” for Rogers, but his future can hardly be described as such. Just eleven fights into his career, this 28-year-old has a lot of rounds left in him and a lot of opportunities to rebound from his loss to the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist on the planet.