STRIKEFORCE has assembled eight of the world's top ranked heavyweights to compete in the STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix - Heavyweight Tournament, a three-stage, single-elimination tournament that will take place over several events in 2011.
The first two quarterfinal fights begin on Saturday, Feb. 12, live on SHOWTIME from the IZOD Center in E. Rutherford, N.J. In the main event, the 34-year-old Fedor Emelianenko will face the towering Antonio "Big Foot" Silva (15-2) in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL co-promoted event. Co-featured on Feb. 12, former world champion Andrei Arlovski (15-8) will face Sergei Kharitonov (17-4), Pride FC and K-1 veteran as well as the last man to defeat current STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight World Champion Alistair "The Demolition Man" Overeem.
The all heavyweight card will include undefeated top prospect Shane Del Rosario (10-0) of Irvine, Calif., vs. hard-hitting Lavar "Big" Johnson (15-3) of Madera, Calif., Chad "The Grave Digger" Griggs (9-1) of Tucson, Ariz., vs. Gian (pronounced "John") Villante (7-1) of Bellmore, N.Y., and Valentijn Overeem (28-25) of Amsterdam, Holland, vs. Ray "Sugarfoot" Sefo (2-0) of Las Vegas.
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Fedor is getting old, I like him as a fighter, but its time for him to leave. There is no point of getting *** kicked like Arlovksi or end up like Mike Tyson. Should leave when people still remember him as one of the greatest
Just watched the fight tonight (DVR'd). That's why I avoided the thread.
O M G...!!! What a incredible showing of brute force by the entire card.
Fedor definitely, like Orlovski, is showing his age. But I still say he will defeat ANY heavyweight at UFC. The thing is, he simply went up against a Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Younger, abd very Hungry fighter in Silva. I remember Silva clearly back with Elite XC. He has slimmed down and has a true ground game to compliment his thunderous blows. He will remain a force in the HW division for a while.
Orlovski... 4 defeats in a row? He either has to drop down or quit... period.
Do not sleep on Kharatinov... Dude destroyed Andre in the first with little effort and he has plenty of experience. again even he will beat anybody in UFC.
So then we still have Allistar Overreem and Vverdum. Both those dudes are crazy dangerous!
STRIKEFORCE all the way baby. They easily have a more stacked (in all divisions especially HW) group of fighters in all of MMA. And keep in mind... If you have HDNET and have watched M-1 Global... You know that those fights over in Japan are incredible. So essentially they are combining with SF to become THE MMA show. Catch some of the Strikeforce Challenger Series on Showtime to see the up and coming talent as well.
I'm not a huge Strikeforce fan, myself...but the interviewers were especially bad during this latest program.
Also, I feel sorry for those who placed such bets on Fedor. It's been a while now since he's fought in prime condition, and to give up as much weight as he did against a fighter like Silva (more technical than Rogers, who gave Fedor trouble), I'm surprised the odds sat at what they did. It was still an outstanding fight, and show of toughness on part of Fedor, but I'm glad he's calling his career, now (Arlovski needs to do the same).
I'd like to see Overeem take the crown, here, but we'll see.
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Live from DALLAS..... "Let's Get Ready To Ruuuuumbllllllle!!!!'
Man this is gonna be AWESOME down at American Airlines Saturday. Can not wait!
The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finally concludes its opening round with a pair of very intriguing match-ups taking place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The main card will be broadcast live on Showtime on Saturday night beginning at 10:00PM in the east. The main event features Strikeforce Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in a non-title affair with surging submission specialist Fabricio Werdum. In the other opening round bout it will be former UFC Heavyweight champion Josh Barnett taking on former Strikeforce title challenger Brett Rogers. We will preview and forecast the remainder of the main card in the next edition. It promises to be a night of heavy hitting action and today we will preview these heavyweight battles with predictions on the outcome of each bout.
HEAVYWEIGHT GRAND PRIX OPENING ROUND:
•Alistair Overeem (34-11) vs. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1): Overeem has made one of the most incredible career resurrections in MMA history as he was once a lanky light heavyweight competitor with a very pedestrian 24-10 record. That record included losses in four of five bouts and a submission loss to his current opponent Fabricio Werdum. Since a 2007 knockout loss to Shogun Rua, Overeem has been on a tear going 10-1 with one no contest with all ten wins coming by TKO or submission. In his last bout at the New Year’s Eve K-1 Dynamite show, Overeem demolished former UFC Heavyweight Todd Duffee in just 19 seconds. Overeem has grown into a 250 pound powerhouse heavyweight and currently reigns as Strikeforce Heavyweight champion. Werdum has erased the memories of his 2008 knockout loss to then unknown Junior Dos Santos that led to his UFC release. Since that loss Werdum has picked up three straight wins over quality opponents and is most famous for being the first man to defeat the seemingly invincible Fedor Emelianenko in nearly ten years when he forced a tap from the Russian great in just 69 seconds last June. Werdum also holds a Strikeforce win over Grand Prix semi-finalist Antonio Silva and will meet Silva again if he can pull the upset of Overeem. Werdum is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and eight of his 12 career wins have come by some form of submission.
This should be a very interesting contest with Overeem owning a distinct size and strength advantage but Werdum is a cagy veteran with tremendous skills who already knows he can defeat Overeem. If Werdum can withstand the initial onslaught from the massive Overeem he can drag the big man into the deep water where his cardio has come into question. The longer the fight goes the more it favors Werdum with his more relaxed style and superior gas tank. The prediction here is that Werdum never sees the second round as the size and power of Overeem will be too much for even a veteran like Werdum to defend. There will be no June miracle for Werdum in 2011 as Overeem overwhelms the smaller challenger with a barrage of knees and punches that force a late first round stoppage for Overeem and a trip to the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Alistair Overeem over Fabricio Werdum by TKO in round one.
•Josh “Baby Faced Assassin” Barnett (29-5) vs. Brett “The Grim” Rogers (11-2): Barnett made his MMA debut in 1997 and has fought all over the world in numerous organizations but will be making his initial Strikeforce appearance against Rogers. Barnett once held the UFC Heavyweight title and was a star in the Pride organization for many years. Barnett possesses tremendous grappling and submission skills as evidenced by his 17 career wins by submission. Barnett has been out of action since a TKO win over Geronimo Dos Santos last July but has been very vocal about his intention to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Strikeforce and Elite XC fans have watched Brett Rogers evolve as a professional fighter. In the beginning Rogers was winning with brute strength and huge punching power but the big man knew he needed to add to those skills if he wanted to become a true force in the MMA world. While his ground game will never be confused with that of Fabricio Werdum, Rogers has improved his grappling and ground skills tremendously. Rogers opened his career with 10 straight stoppage victories before dropping a very competitive fight to legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in November 2009. Rogers was then manhandled as he challenged Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce Heavyweight title in May of last year. The Grim bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Ruben Villareal in October.
Despite the vast improvement in Rogers grappling this one still comes down to Rogers knockout ability against Barnett’s grappling and submissions. Rogers certainly has the firepower in his hands to put Barnett to sleep with one shot but Barnett has been in the ring/cage with many heavy hitters and has only been knocked out one time in 34 bouts. The thought here is that Rogers will come out swinging for the fences with Barnett avoiding the big early shot and working inside for a takedown. Barnett will get some resistance from Rogers and the fight will get into the second round before the Baby Faced Assassin can wear down Rogers and force a referee stoppage due to strikes from the mount position. Barnett advances to the Grand Prix semi-finals with a second round TKO.