Saturday, February 12, 2011

Strikeforce - Fedor vs. Silva !!!! Heavy Weight Grand Prix Round 1

This is the big kickoff to the Strikeforce: Heavy Grand Prix, with 2 quarterfinal match ups and some reserve bouts. While I'm pretty excited to see a Pride style tournament going down with some of the top heavyweights in the world, I'm pretty sure that we are not going to see the matchups we want, Fedor vs Overeem, Fedor vs Barnett, Fedor vs Werdum, etc. My hope would be to see Fedor win the whole thing.
Strikeforce - Fedor vs. Silva
February 12, 2011, Izod Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States


Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva - Fedor is not washed up. Fedor isn't a dried up old man.
The MMA community have quite the short term memory and everything is always judged by your last performance.
Take Anderson Silva last week, for example. At UFC 117 he finally looked mortal against Chael Sonnen and then everyone was writing him off as an old man past his prime. About 50% of fans (and journalists/media outlets) picked Vitor to beat Anderson.
And what happened? Silva kicked Vitor's lights out halfway through the first round.

I think we're looking at a very similar situation with Emelianenko. Fedor got careless against the best 99+ kg Jiu Jitsu guy in MMA and he got caught. Fedor carelessly, more than once, left his arm out for Fabricio to grab a hold of. Fedor was sloppy not outmatched against Werdum. All the time he spent in Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira's guard is proof enough of that.
Keep in mind that the reason Werdum was on his back was that Fedor dropped him with a big flurry.
Antonio Silva is improving as a fighter but I'm not convinced he will be too much of a challenge for the Russian. Silva showed good technical boxing and great head movement in his decision win over Arlovski, and then in his next fight, got dropped hard by Mike Kyle.
I don't worry that Fedor will lose to BigFoot. I'm pretty sure he's going to win.
I think what we looking at is a very real possibility that Fedor will break his hand on Silva's caveman head and will out of the heavyweight tournament.
Maybe in the long run that's for the better. If Fedor is out, there's a good chance Overeem can win the whole thing and have nobody else to fight. Strikeforce could then easily sell the fight everyone wants, Overeem vs Fedor.
I'm taking Fedor by TKO, rd. 1.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov - This is a tough fight to call. While Arlovski is the better mixed martial artist its hard to pick a guy with glass chin. If Arlovski can mix up his punches and strikes he could beat Kharitonov but there's a very real chance that Sergei lands one big shot and its lights out for 'the Pitbull'.
Arlovski has the advantage if the fight gets to the floor but he loves to stand and strike regardless of how weak his chin has been proven to be. (sigh) Reluctantly, I'm going with Arlovski, simply because I am a huge fan and I can't pick against him. Arlovski by TKO, rd. 2.
Shane del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson - This is a close matchup, and an intriguing fight. Both guys have showed they have sturdy chins, and throw big power.
del Rosario is much better on the ground & is developing a varied submission game. On top of that he is a more technical striker. Johnson has big power and could definitely land a huge shot to make it an early night for Shane, but I'm going with the younger prospect. del Rosario by submission, rd. 3.
Valentijn Overeem vs. Ray Sefo - The other Overeem is not as good as his brother. Valentijn doesn't take well to getting hit. One big shot from Sefo and it could all be over. Sefo is an aged kickboxer and Valentijn's only real chance is to get it to the ground and aim for the sub.
I see Sefo hitting Overeem hard and finishing before it hits the mat. Sefo by KO, rd. 1.
Gian Villante vs. Chad Griggs - Admittedly, I'm not excited for this fight. This Villante guy is a former football player that is an upcoming prospect and he's picking up the MMA game quickly (I hear). Griggs is here because he did what he wasn't supposed to do and beat a gassed out Bobby Lashley. I'll go with Villante by decision but if we somehow don't get to see this one I won't lose any sleep.

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