Top MMA News Breaks Down Strikeforce: Fedor vs Silva
Strikeforce / M1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva will be taking place at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 12th. The event features a stacked all Heavyweight line up headlined by none other than “The Last Emporer” Fedor Emelianenko. It also signifies the beginning of what could turn out to be the greatest MMA tournament ever: The Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix.
The main event fights will be aired live here in Canada on Superchannel.
Here is the Top MMA News breakdown:
Quarterfinal Tournament Bout – Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva
Fedor won the 2004 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix before Silva even made his professional MMA debut in 2005. If you look at the professional records and past achievements of these two men, Fedor Emlianenko is the obvious favourite to win this fight.
Fedor is a natural puncher who does not utilize conventional boxing technique. He instead relies on his knockout power and almost instinctual timing and accuracy to dominate most opponents on the feet. Fedor is also a four time World Sambo Championship gold medalist so his throws, arm locks and leg locks are at an elite level. Emelianenko has built his empire around a superbly well rounded skill set and an ice cold demeanour in the ring. Fedor has been so dominant over the years, he suffered only one loss in 34 fights before losing his last fight by submission to Fabricio Werdum last June. The bottom line is that Fedor has fought and won against the best.
Antonio Silva’s main advantage coming into this fight will be his size and strength. Silva has extremely heavy hands and a decent ground game. We watched him recover from adversity in his fight against Mike Kyle and dominate Andre Arlosvski for three whole rounds before earning a decision victory. Despite the odds, Silva deserves to be both in this fight and this tournament.
While Silva may have heavy hands compared to Fedor, he also has heavy feet. Speed is going to play a factor in this fight. Fedor has faced bigger men than Silva and will use his speed advantage to dominate this fight both on the feet and on the ground.
Prediction: Fedor Emelianenko via First Round Submission (Choke)
Quarterfinal Tournament Bout – Sergei Kharitonov vs. Andre Arlovski
Andre Arlovski is coming into this tournament riding a three fight losing streak. While this does look bad for the former UFC Heavyweight champion, keep in mind that at least he did not get knocked out in his last fight. Wait, that still looks bad. Arlovski has recently switched teams again from AKA to Greg Jackson’s camp. Hopefully switching camps and training with Jon Jones and the rest of Jackson’s stable of fighters will be the change Arlovski needs.
Kharitonov has notable wins over Fabricio Werdum in 2005 and Alistair Overeem in 2007 which explains why he is in this tournament. The problem is that Kharitonov has not won against a notable opponent in either kickboxing or MMA since his fight against Overeem.
Despite the records these two fighters are bringing into the cage, they both have the tools needed to finish this fight and neither present any significant weakness. I think both fighters will want to keep this fight standing and likely Arlovski will land first.
Prediction: Andre Arlovski by Second Round KO
Shane del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson
Shane Del Rosario is a very exciting undefeated prospect in the Heavyweight division. In his fight against Brandon Cash, he weathered Cash’s all or nothing fury early in the first round then submitted an exhausted Cash with an Omoplata. In his latest fight against Lolohea Mahe, Shane showed his striking and wrestling prowess by beating Mahe to the punch and pressuring him against the cage before winning by TKO in the first round.
Lavar Johnson is a big heavy hitting striker coming into this fight on a seven fight win streak with all seven of those wins ending by knockout in the first or second round. The only fighter to take Johnson into round two since 2006 has been Lolohea Mahe.
Mahe is the common denominator in this match up. Shane del Rosario was more dominant in his fight against Mahe mostly because of his superior wrestling. I think Shane will look to avoid Lavar’s far reaching jab by pressing him against the cage, taking him down and finishing with some vicious ground and pound.
Prediction: Shane del Rosario via First Round TKO
Chad Griggs vs. Gianpiero Villante
Chad Griggs showed a lot of heart, endurance and well rounded skills in his recent fight against overwhelming favourite Bobby Lashley. Gian Villante is the current Ring of Combat Heavyweight champion and has won seven straight fights in that weight division.
Villante looks like the faster more athletic fighter. He has not fought in a show of this magnitude before but I think he will rise to the occasion. I’m predicting a three round slugfest with Griggs getting the nod from the judges.
Prediction: Chad Griggs via Unanimous Decision
Ray Sefo vs. Valentijn Overeem
Rey Sefo is an elite level striker and fan favourite on the K1 kickboxing circuit. He is currently a striking coach at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Allistair’s older brother Valentijn’s record currently sits at 28 wins and 25 losses. Valentijn has fought and lost against a lot of top level competition over the years. Pertinent to this fight, Overeem holds a win over Sefo’s training partner Randy Couture.
Ray only has two professional MMA bouts on his record but oddly enough I think with Ray’s K1 experience and maybe a little extra motivation from Randy Couture, he will knock Overeem down and hammer fist his way to a first round victory.
Prediction: Ray Sefo via First Round TKO