Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva is on a high at the moment after becoming only the second man in 10 years to defeat Fedor Emelianenko to progress to the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, but recent developments may have taken a little of the wind out of his sails.
Earlier this week Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the next set of quarter-finals for the event would be delayed, shifting from their original date in April back to June.
As a result Coker has also confirmed that means the semi-finals and final will also slide back in the schedule, with mid-September and early December now being targeted. That means any further delays could well push the tournament into 2012, something the promotion would be keen to avoid.
That news was met with disappointment from the fans, and it seems Silva is not best pleased with the decision either, as his manager, Alex Davis explains.
“We can see Strikeforce’s point at delaying the other side of the bracket, so they can promote, but it leaves ‘Junior’ without a fight until at least Sept., which is a long wait,” a disappointed Davis told ESPN.com. “For us it sucks. I gotta keep him in action. What I’ll try to see if they’ll let him fight in Japan. He’s in the tournament so it wouldn’t make any sense to have him fight in Strikeforce. We can’t just wait this long.”
It seems it’s not an ideal situation for another competitor in the tournament, Brett Rogers, who now has to adjust his training schedule to fight Josh Barnett in June.
Roger’s trainer Mike Reilly was frank in his assessment of the delay, describing it as, “nuts.”
While acknowledging it’s not an ideal situation for the participants, Coker still sees the positive side of the situation.
“I feel bad for the fighters but as a promoter I’m happy we have more time,” he stated.
Few appear to share his sentiments though, with seemingly everyone from the fans, the fighters and the media appearing to be disgruntled by the delay.