Just four days from now – on Saturday, February 12, Strikeforce’s much anticipated inaugural Heavyweight Grand Prix kicks off from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey with Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva. The event itself, named after its main event competitors, boasts an all-heavyweight main card including two quarter-final match-ups of the eight-man single elimination tournament.
The main attraction of the evening pits the legendary Russian Sambo and Judo Champion “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-2), who is returning to the cage for the first time since his upset loss to Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) last June, against the Brazilian behemoth and Karate, Judo, and BJJ black belt “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (14-2), a bout that Silva has been requesting for almost a year now. The co-main event sees former UFC Heavyweight Champion “The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski (14-8) return to the lime light in taking on the last man to defeat Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion (one of several titles he currently holds) “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem – former PRIDE superstar Sergei Kharitonov (16-4).
Also supporting the card are three Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament reserve bouts including Muay Thai kickboxer Shane del Rosario (8-0) squaring off with American Kickboxing Academy’s “Big” Lavar Johnson (13-3), International Fight League (IFL) veteran “The Grave Digger” Chad Griggs (8-1) – who is coming off an upset win over former WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley (5-1) – fighting Gian Villante (7-1), and Danish PRIDE veteran and elder brother of the current heavyweight champ, “The Python” Valentijn Overeem (26-21) locking horns with esteemed K-1 kickboxer Ray Sefo (2-1).
The undercard is as follows:
John Cholish (5-1) vs. Marc Stevens (12-7)
Anthony Leone (8-1) vs. Josh Laberge (7-4)
Sam Oropeza (3-1) vs. Don Carlo-Clauss (7-4)
Kevin Roddy (11-11-1) vs. Jason McLean (5-3)
Igor Gracie (2-2) vs. John Salgado (4-4-1)
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva airs live at 10pm ET/PT this Saturday on Showtime.