The MMA world has been ablaze since the end of 2010 when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced the organization’s upcoming eight-man single-elimination tournament, dubbed the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, which was slated to include some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division signed on as competitors. Last night the San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion kicked off that tournament, as the main card of its “Fedor vs. Silva” event, with two Quarter-Finals match-ups and two alternate qualifying bouts. It was an amazing night of fights, culminating with a fight between “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (15-2 ) and “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-3).
Strikeforce launched its World Heavyweight Grand Prix last night to the eager cheers of one of the largest crowds it has ever hosted. The night was filled with exciting barn burners including a main card that opened with four straight first round finishes and ended with what many are viewing as the biggest upset in modern MMA history. As a whole the card was an overwhelming success and did its job of hyping the casual fan base for the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix magnificently. It brought all the ingredients of a fan pleasing MMA production to the table with big names against big underdogs, fast paced casual fan-friendly brawls, bouts which displayed that higher level of technical precision that awes the pundits, big finishes and even bigger upsets. However, it is not all wine and roses for the San Jose-based promotion. One of their biggest drawing fighters announced his potential retirement after being knocked out of the tournament along with another fan favorite, there were a few close calls from the referees that could have easily caused a controversy, and their commentary was even more painful than usual. There are always ups and downs with every fight, so to help sort them out MMA Gospel presents The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
One of the most highly anticipated cards of the year has come and gone – more quickly than some expected, and in a very different manner than most expected.
In tonight’s premier installment of the two-part Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals, four men stepped into the six-sided cage with the hopes of advancing to the Semi-Finals of the promotion’s inaugural heavyweight tournament. In the co-main event, the first of the pairings saw PRIDE veteran and dangerous kickboxer “The Russian Mercenary” Sergei Kharitonov (17-4) taking on Sambo master and former UFC Heavyweight Champion “The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski (14-9). The Belarusian exhibited more than a glimmer of his old self coming out of the gate, instantly putting the pressure on his opponent, and out-striking Kharitonov with precision jabs, uppercuts, and leg kicks. Things were really looking up for the formerly top 10 ranked heavyweight, but unfortunately it didn’t last long. Arlovski allowed himself to be backed toward the cage, where he quickly became at the mercy of Kharitonov’s own brand of stellar striking. It took only a few well-placed punches until Arlovski found himself in the same place as two of his last three fights: on the canvas, out cold. “The Pitbull” is out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and Sergei Kharitonov advances to the Semi-Finals.
We have another great MMA gear deal from MMAHQ. Today’s deal is a peal weave Gi with patches from Fuji.