The much-anticipated Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament kicks off this Saturday, February 12th, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The card, co-promoted by Strikeforce and M-1 Global, stacks the deck with five feature bouts all to be contested in the heavyweight class.
Anchoring the event is famed Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, who is making his stateside return after suffering his first submission loss to Fabricio Werdum. Now Fedor seeks to bounce back as he takes on brawny Brazilian “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva In quarterfinal tournament action. A win in this bout sets up a mega-fight of epic proportions in the next round of the grand prix as “The Last Emperor” would face the winner of Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.
Also on tap for tournament action is another Eastern European matchup as former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski returns to battle hard-hitting Russian Sergei Kharitanov. The Belarusian “Pit Bull” will have his hands full in this bout as he has lost his last three bouts prior to the tournament. Meanwhile, the former Russian Paratrooper seeks to continue his own resurgence and claim a second win in a row.
The rest of Saturday’s lineup includes three heavyweight bouts set to determine alternates for the Heavyweight Grand Prix. In the first, highly-touted prospect Shane Del Rosario takes on Lavar Johnson for the number-one alternate slot. A war in waiting will determine second alternate position as former K-1 great Ray Sefo takes on Golden Glory’s Valentijn Overeem in a guaranteed slugfest. Lastly, a matchup between Bobby Lashley conqueror Chad Griggs and Gian Villante concludes alternate action for the evening.
The main card for Strikeforce and M-1 Global Present: Fedor vs Silva will air LIVE on Showtime on Saturday, Feb, 12 beginning at 9PM CST.