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Fedor Emelianenko fighting in February, involvement in Strikeforce tournament announced

Thanks to a multi-year extension between the parties, M-1 Global and Strikeforce will co-promote a series of shows headlined by MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko starting with his involvement in match-up against Antonio Silva as one of the opening round affairs in a eight-man, single-elimination tournament planned for the next several months. The bout will take place on February 12, live on Showtime, from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Joining Emelianenko and Silva on the card will be another first-round fight between former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski and imposing PRIDE veteran Sergei Kharitonov.

The second set of competitors will likely square off on March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, as Alistair Overeem was announced as fighting Fabricio Werdum whose originally rumored opponent for the event, Brett Rogers, will take on Josh Barnett.

“We are thrilled to have come to a long-term agreement with Fedor and M-1 Global,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. “To have the greatest MMA fighter of all-time put his legacy on the line in a single-elimination tournament will truly captivate MMA fans worldwide. Strikeforce is home to the best heavyweight division in the world; the athlete who runs the gauntlet in a tournament such as this would have to be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world.”

“I have been training very hard since my last fight and can’t wait to get back in the cage,” added the 31-2 Emelianenko. “Strikeforce has assembled a roster filled with the best heavyweights in the world and, together with M-1 Global, we have the opportunity to fight the best in a great tournament format.”

23 COMMENTS
  • qat says:

    is that a real multi-year extension or just until after his next fight again? well i somehow believe/hope they really got a multi-fight deal now, and we are gonna see him compete regularly from now on.

    the tournament.. is somewhat interesting, i hope that sf doesn’t get too much problems and it will work out nicely. even though it is a bit strange to have overeem vs. werdum as one of the quarter finals. (title on the line or not?) but im not nitpicking over strikeforce anymore as long as we see them all compete.

  • MCM says:

    Yeah qat, SF belts are completely meaningless. I don’t care much anyway as long as they put the fights together, that’s all any of us really want.

  • dimitri357 says:

    fedor is finally on his way to the strikeforce title. when he has the title it will finally mean just as much as the ufc hw title.

  • twyg says:

    I have read that the bracket breakdown is as follows: Overeem vs. Werdum, Fedor vs. Bigfoot on one side with Barnett vs. Rogers and Kharitonov vs. The Pitbull on the other side. If this is indeed the case as is being reported by espn I don’t see the logic. They have one side of the bracket loaded with three of the best fighters on their roster. Barnett has the easiest road to the finals. I have also heard that every fight involving the title will indeed be a title fight. The winner of this will be the SF and linear champ. I just hope SF can pull this off and that there are not any long delays due to injury.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Even if Fedor beats Bigfoot, Werdum, and Overeem it will never be the equivalent to beating the UFCs best heavys. A Strikeforce belt is the Grey Cup- and a UFC belt, of course, the Superbowl. Now, I’m Canadian and I know a lot of people who like the CFL more than the NFL, fair enough but they will never be able to argue the talent pool difference.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    I think this is as good as it will get with SF. They are putting every HW on their roster in a fight. Even if someone gets too hurt to continue to next round they have alternates.

    No sense in bitching saying any of the UFC HWs would do this or that cause it wont happen or do any good.

    Personally I think any of the announced guys could hold their own with any ranked HW in UFC.

    I just hope this concludes with Overeem v. Fedor

  • MCM says:

    My only complaint with this (cause you know I gotta have one 😉 ) is that I wish they would have thrown in some of their homegrown talent as well. Del Rosario and Cormier could become instant stars if they were to be competitive in this tourney.

  • elkymbo says:

    Unfortunately it won’t conclude with Overeem vs Fedor in the final because they’re in the tourney. They should have set it up so he was on the other side! Ah well aside from that this looks brilliant and I can’t wait to see it.
    Now all they have to do is sort out their commentary team. SIGN UP SCHIAVELLO!

  • Dufresne says:

    Barnett, if you get popped for roids again, so help me God…

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Bigbadjohn?. There always has to be one. “Yeah so what the UFC is better” type of person.
    Well bigbad not only is that debatable but the UFC has Valasquez out, Nog out, Carwin out, Lesnar thinking about retirement and does not hold tourneys.
    According to Fight matrix this tourney has just as many top 15s participating as the UFC has in it’s entirety and 4 of those are top 10ers. That includes the reining K1 champ, the “best HW ever”, 2 former UFC champions, 2 up and coming young top 15 HWs and a Russian sambo practitioner that was nearly selected to represent his country in boxing after getting silver in the Asian championships and now trains with and fights the worlds best in K1.
    I would argue that not only does the UFC not do tourneys but that they would struggle to put 1 together with as much talent and evenly contested fights.
    This is not the Grey cup it IS the Superbowl because it is the best HW tourney there is. If the UFC decides it wants to hold one then we can debate which is better but they don’t so STFU and go watch Canadian football.

    I am super happy that this looks like it is going ahead. Not only will we get to see 7 or 8 of the worlds best HWs go at it but at the end of it the SF belt will be a belt that has just had half of the worlds top 15 compete for including Fedor, Barnett and the K1 champ. It will instantly be something of REAL worth and hopefully will have every fighter out of the UFC (and some inside the UFC) gunning for it (or at least wishing they were allowed).
    This is very, very good for world MMA if it happens.I am trying to stay calm and not get to carried away before it happens but … F#CK YEAH!.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    This tourney is the best HW tourney ever held.
    Pride had a couple of good ones but this is gonna be (if it happens) the best HW weight tourney ever.
    …the f#cken Grey cup.
    I would have had it like this though.
    Fedor vs Kharitonov Overeem vs Arlovski
    Barnett vs BigFoot Rogers vs Werdum

    and Cormier vs Del Rosario as the alternates.

  • Sykotick says:

    You know at first I was going to bitch about how dumb it is that strikeforce put the Reem and The Baddest Man on the Planet on the same side of the bracket while leaving Mr pops positive (Barnett) on the other, but then after thinkin about it for a bit, this makes sense. Check it, assuming the Reem, the Last emperor, and the Babyfaced assassin win, then we get the fight people have been wanting to see, Overeem and Emelianenko, then if Fedor and Barnett win again we get to see the fight that killed affliction mma, the ex #1 and #2 heavyweights go at it.

    Bigbadjohn, normally I would love to bitch about strikeforce, cuz of their boneheaded decisions but in this case, its a move that shows a lot of promise for them and its a ballsy move, and on top of that, its a move that has nothing to do with the UFC so why bring them up?

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i dont understand why people support the UFC, its a promotion. i understand that the UFC have been monumental in the making this sport what it is, and i love MMA, but UFC is just a promotion. i support the fighters, and an awesome fighter fighting is an awesome fighter fighting, doesnt matter under which banner.

    if this comes off i’ll be loving it, but i wont get too excited til all of these guys have weighed in the day before their fights

    are they having a one night semi final/final do we know?

  • Rece Rock says:

    “Thanks to a multi-year extension between the parties, M-1 Global and Strikeforce …”

    Dumb dumb da dumb daaa dadumb dadumb dumb dumb dummmmbbb. :)

    But really it doesn’t matter because Fedor & M-1 will renogotiate in between the Tourney fights…
    ” DA! we need bigger M-1 Logos or you get no Fedor!”

  • Rece Rock says:

    Another note: How can this be the “Best HW Tournement Ever Held ” ?? Are you serious? How about when tourney’s took place all in one night?? The Best HW Tourney Ever held wouldn’t have the names Rogers and AA included… This is awesome but FAR from the best thing ever.

  • Rece Rock says:

    “I wish they would have thrown in some of their homegrown talent as well. Del Rosario and Cormier could become instant stars if they were to be competitive in this tourney.” – MCM

    SOLID.

    You hit it on the head.

  • Dufresne says:

    Personally I support whoever is putting on good, logical fights.

    Sometimes I come off as hating on SF, but in all reality I actually like most of their cards. They’ve made some incredibly baffling decisions in a lot of areas including matchmaking and a seeming reluctance to promote their own product, but then they’ll occasionally come back and put together something like this that makes me think they’re back on the right track.

    And Sykotick, excellent point on the potential fights the brackets can give us. I hadn’t worked through it like that and was kinda pissed about it on first glance, but after looking at your logic, I gotta say I like it.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Rece finds it hard to cope with Strikeforce doing well.

    I would like to hear of a better tourney held Rece. The events held all on the same night were not good indicators of who the best was because the best may have faced the 2nd and 3rd best in the semis and they never had as much talent as this.
    No this is one of the 3 best HW/open weight tourneys held. Pride held 2 good ones in 2004 and 2006 but they were 16 man events and were watered down with the semi and final on the same night so I have to say that this is the best. Besides what does homegrown talent mean?. Del rosario and Cormier have both fought half of their fights for another company and Shane even started elsewhere. To throw them into the mix with 6 of the best HWs in the world would be 1 hell of a risk and if they were destroyed, it would give SOME guys the old “yeah they won but look at who they beat” and “that tourney was full of guys that were not even top 20s” excuse that they love. What they have done is fill the tourney with the highest ranked fighters that they have just like it should have been. In the next 1 if Del Rosario and Cormier are the highest ranked they will be in it too.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Coker Logic, go check out Cagepotato’s proposed UFC HW tournament brackets. They are much evenly matched and overall more impressive, plus in the UFC you can actually guarantee the tournament will go without absurd hiccups. I know, I know, the UFC has no actual plans for a tournament but as the article suggests: with zero intentions of holding a tournament at this point, the UFC would probably still be a safer bet as far as an event of this magnitude actually coming to fruition.

  • MCM says:

    Actually bigbadjohn, SF already did this in the MW division. They just didn’t tell anyone.
    http://mmaquickhits.viviti.com/entries/mma/strikeforce-held-a-mw-tourney-they-just-didn-t-tell-us-about-it

    The only difference is that I hear SF is trying to make the HW fights 5 min rounds.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    actually Rece, I know they did a MW one. But have you noticed what difficulty SF has had getting their 2 biggest stars in the HW div to fight on a regular basis?? Alistairs fought on American turf, what? like once in how many years? Not because the fans didn’t want to see him. Noooo. Because SF can barely ever get there ducks in a row. And speculatively because Alistair would have to piss clean in much stricter tests by actual athletic comissions. Fedor? well we all know where his priorities lie – family, church, and business then fighting/stardom. Which is perfectly fine. You guys don’t have any apprehension getting excited about this tourney? weird. I wonder if winning will guarantee a move to the next bracket or if Coker will give someone a shot even if they’ve lost? Its strikeforce WE DON’t know.

  • MCM says:

    actually, I’m MCM 😉 . And I do have some apprehension that SF will be able to pull this off. I just wanted to point out they have pulled it off before, albeit without two of the sports biggest primadonnas. But I think that’s why Coker is putting on the substitution bouts.
    When I put aside my normal head scratching for SF business decisions and really take a look at this, logistically it looks very doable. And it looks like they even have contingencies in place if part of it falls through. And you’re right, it’s Strikeforce so we don’t know. But for the first time in a long time, it looks like SF is actually back to doing smart business.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    I agree. Strikeforce has shown as much promise of late of any of the biggest competitors of the UFC thus far, I’m just a skeptic. And my apologies for the name mistake, I don’t know why I thought I read Rece.

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