Saturday, June 18, Strikeforce returns with the second installment of the first round of its Heavyweight Grand Prix as “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (31-12) takes on “Vai Cavalo” Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) and “The Grim” Brett Rogers (11-2) squares off with “The Babyfaced Assassin” Josh Barnett (21-5). The card is one of the better showings from Strikeforce in a long time, perhaps due to an influx of financial backing from Zuffa, and features several of the names that recently staked a claim in the California-based promotion. Among those names are former title challenger KJ Noons (9-3), “Gamebred” Jorge Masvidal (19-6), “The Python” Valentijn Overeem (27-21), and “The Grave Digger” Chad Griggs (9-1) as well as a bout between blue chip wrestler Daniel Cormier (6-0) and submission specialist “The Snowman” Jeff Monson (37-11). This last pairing is an excellent test of Cormier’s skills as “The Snowman” is not only a monster on the ground but is a battle tested veteran with more fights than all of Cormier’s previous opponents combined.
Position before submission. It is a phrase that may as well be emblazoned on the walls, ceiling, and mats of every Jiu-Jitsu gym in the country. In order to effectively seek fight-ending submissions, a fighter must first be able to control his posture and that of his opponent in order to gain the needed position to apply his techniques. With this in mind, MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week has turned to Ed Perdomo and Johnny Rodriguez for a trio of fight finishers that feed off of this week’s maneuver: a sweep from the closed guard directly to the rear mount position.
The American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas shall host the second installment of the inaugural Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix less than one week after its home team the Dallas Mavericks toppled bitter rivals the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. This Saturday, June 18, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament resumes after a three-month break to bring its heavy hitting champion face-to-face yet again with his former foe and to wrap up the last of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals as well as bring some of its up-and-coming stars to the big stage. Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (31-12) meets “Vai Cavalo” Fabricio Werdum (14-4) in a long awaited rematch that pits arguably the world’s best heavyweight striker against the world’s best heavyweight Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, PRIDE, and Sengoku stand-out “The Baby Faced Assassin” Josh Barnett (21-5) fights Chicago-born slugger ”The Grim” Brett Rogers (11-2) in the co-main event to determine which man moves on to the tournament semi-finals. The reemergence of “Conviction” Gina Carano (7-1), who was making her return to the cage against undefeated Sarah D’Alelio (3-0), has been pulled due to Carano not receiving medical clearance from her doctor and has been replaced by a previously scheduled prelim bout between former Elite XC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons (9-3) and “Gamebred” Jorge Masvidal (19-6). Opening up the main card though are a pair of tournament reservoir bouts with former UFC heavyweight title contender and American submission specialist “The Snowman” Jeff Monson (37-11) returning to the big leagues opposite the undefeated rising star Daniel Cormier (6-0), and IFL veteran and heavyweight dark horse “The Grave Digger” Chad Griggs (9-1) looking to continue his dominant win streak when he meets former PRIDE veteran and powerhouse “The Python” Valentijn Overeem (27-21). With the opportunity for either Griggs or Overeem to partake in one of Strikeforce’s most major events, both men have a lot to gain but even more to lose.