About an hour outside Chicago, in the suburban hamlet of Hoffman Estates, sits the Sears Center. Several hundred braved the rush-hour traffic to watch all the Strikforce fighters step on a scale. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten is walking around taking a video of the event. In the press section, foreign languages fly about. Everything from Portuguese to Russian to English to Japanese. And lining the press section are friends of the fighters, looking big in Affliction gear and rocking some of the heaviest cauliflower ears seen outside an Iowa City wrestling practice.
Here we go: the organizers just brought out the digital scale. Two Cage Card girls just stepped onto the stage in Strikeforce/RockStar Energy Drink underwear and old school Reebok sneakers. Men in the crowd adjust themselves.
Leading off the night is Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. He weighs in at 263lbs. He has a Bigfoot tattoo, and giant, giant hands to match his giant, giant head. Whoever created this man intended on scarring every child in the favelas.
Fabricio Werdum is next onto the stage and tips in at 242lbs. He looks tiny compared to "Big Foot."
They guys come together and put their fists up. This is a serious stare down. Both refuse to blink.
Light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi comes to the stage with fans yelling his name. "Taking the MMA scale by storm!" says the announcer. Mousasi pouts at the cameras, like he's annoyed at the photos. Weighs in 205lbs.
Next out is Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. He weighs-in at 204lbs. The man has dirty dread locks.
They look together for a face off. Mousasi looks like he just woke up from a nap. Has bed head. The guy needs something to eat.
(Note: Fedor's entourage just sat down in front of me. I'd ask them to duck but... damn, they breed them big out East.)
Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields comes to the stage, weighs in at 184.5lbs, and gives a smile. He acts super professional.
Now Jason "Mayhem" Miller, the star of MTV's Bully Beatdown, takes the stage. He's rocking bright orange American Apparel underwear. He poses and comes in at 184lbs.
The two comes together. He grins in front of Shields, hamming it up for the crowd. It ends without a handshake. Shields is not impressed by the antics of Miller.
Here comes the big boys: Fedor and our boy Brett.
"The greatest MMA on the planet! The mixed martial arts superstar!" yells the announcer. Fedor steps from behind the curtain and receives HUGE applause. Note: he's a lot bigger in person. One promoter encourages him to take off his jeans. Fedor gives him an awkward look, as though he might not be wearing any undies. They let it slide. He weights in a 232lbs. Brett will have, at least, a 30-40lbs. advantage.
Now Brett comes to the stage. He has on the signature Remetee shirt. Earlier, he spent the majority of the day in the sauna and on a bike, sweating off the final pounds of water weight. Unlike Emelianenko, Brett has to strip down to his fighting trunks. He weighs in at exactly 264lbs.
They pose together for a face off. Both hold up fists, turn to each side of the photographers and look up toward the television cameras. In 45 seconds or less it's all over.
In a short time he'll be battling the mythic legend. For now he must feel good about making weight. It's off to a rules meeting and then a well deserved meal at Fogo De Chao.