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.”