Yesterday we reported that Strikeforce were proceeding with their plans for a heavyweight tournament this year, and Fedor Emelianenko would be involved, taking on Antonio Silva.
Today MMAJunkie reported additional information about the tournament which includes revised quarter-finals and the addition of Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
Overeem will be looking for vengeance when he takes on Fabricio Werdum who defeated him some four and a half years ago by submission in the opening round of the PRIDE 2006 Openweight Grand-Prix.
Alongside that match-up, which is undoubtedly the pick of the quarter-finals, it’s also been revealed that Strikeforce plan to pit Josh Barnett against Brett Rogers, while Andrei Arlovski will face Sergei Kharatanov.
Despite having went on record stating my reservations about the tournament given that Strikeforce have had difficulty getting fighters like Overeem, Fedor and Barnett into the cage on a regular basis, I can’t deny that my mouth is watering at the prospect of the grand-prix becoming a reality.
I’m especially please that all four ‘big-guns’ – Fedor, Overeem, Barnett and Werdum have been included, and that one of the major match-ups that people have been calling for over the past few months between Overeem and Werdum will take place in the quarter-finals.
I still have concerns – will Barnett be granted his license to fight again in the US following a steroid suspension before the tournament commences? What are the odds that M-1 Global start causing problems again if Fedor progresses? Will Overeem stay committed to the tournament or could he be distracted with defending his DREAM interim title and K-1 GP belt?
For now I’m trying to not look too far ahead and instead am just looking forward to seeing the four fights they have slated.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix 2011: Quarter Final Brackets:
- Fedor Emelianenko Vs Antonio Silva
- Alistair Overeem Vs Fabricio Werdum
- Josh Barnett Vs Brett Rogers
- Andrei Arlovski Vs Sergei Kharatanov