Strikeforce have now unveiled the brackets for their upcoming heavyweight tournament.
The official diagram shows that the winner of Fedor Vs Big Foot will go on to face the winner of Overeem Vs Werdum in the first semi-final, leaving the winner of Barnett Vs Rogers to take on either Arlovski or Kharitanov.
That may comes as a little bit of a surprise to some as it had been assumed that Strikeforce would have been keen to keep the biggest fight of the tournament – Fedor Vs Overeem / Werdum would have been kept for the final.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has spoken with MMAfighting about the idea behind the brackets.
“When we looked at it, we want to put the best fights on and have the most exciting matchup on every event,” Coker said. “If Fedor wins, he fights the winner of Werdum vs. Alistair, so we know we’re going to get one of those two fights. The sooner we could make that fight the better.”
I can live with that. Strikeforce have tried to be too clever in the past – setting up Fedor with Werdum with the expectation of him winning and going on to fight Overeem on PPV last year for example, or putting Bobby Lashley against the unknown Chad Griggs expecting him to get an easy win – so it’s perhaps wise to just get the big fights underway ASAP and let the chips fall where they may.
The main flaw I can see is that the second bracket hinges significantly on the success of Josh Barnett who’s the only fighter in those two quarter finals who’s consistently winning fights at this moment in time. If he loses then that end of the tournament definitely loses some momentum.
Overall though it looks like a great tournament on paper, and if they can pull it off without any major problems then it’ll undoubtedly be one of the major highlights of 2011.