Silva Stops Fedor; Kharitonov KO's Arlovski

Saturday, February 12, 2011

By FCF Staff

Here are the results from Strikeforce's "Fedor vs. Silva" card tonight in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which saw Antonio Silva punish Fedor Emelianenko with ground-and-pound strikes throughout the second round, en route to a stoppage win. While Emelianenko battled his way through a brutal series of punches and a side choke attempt from Silva in the second frame, the legendary fighter's right eye was completely swollen shut as the round ended.  Moments later, the ringside physician determined that Fedor could not continue, handing the former Pride champ his second, consecutive loss. (Pictured: Silva (right) is declared the winner)

Silva pounding Emelianenko

A defeated Fedor
In the other heavyweight grand-prix, quarterfinal of the evening, Sergei Kharitonov eventually closed the distance on Andrei Arlovski and put the former UFC champ away with a series of strikes. Early on, Arlovski utilized leg kicks and footwork to avoid exchanging with the powerful striker, but Kharitonov pounced once his opponent was up against the cage fence. After being sent to the mat by a Kharitonov punch, several follow up strikes from above left Arlovski unconcious at 2:49 of the opening round. 

Kharitonov throwing a right at Arlovski

A victorious Kharitonov
Here are the results from tonight's Strikeforce broadcast; full report to follow.

Antonio Silva def. Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (doctor's stoppage) - R2, 5:00
Sergei Kharitonov def. Andrei Arlovski via KO (strikes) - R1, 2:49
Shane Del Rosario def. Lavar Johnson via submission (armbar) - R1, 4:31
Chad Griggs def. Gian Villante via TKO (strikes) - R1, 2:49
Valentijn Overeem def. Ray Sefo via submission (neck crank) - R1, 1:37
John Cholish def. Marc Stevens via submission (kneebar) - R2, 3:57
Igor Gracie def. John Salgado via submission (arm-triangle choke) - R2, 3:04
Sam Oropeza def. Don Carlo-Clauss via submission (strikes) - R1, 4:10
Josh LaBerge def. Anthony Leone via TKO (cut) - R1, 5:00

Del Rosario working from the mount
Sefo blocking a kick from Overeem
READ MORE - Silva Stops Fedor; Kharitonov KO's Arlovski

Strikeforce Preview

By Jim Genia

What: Strikeforce’s “Fedor vs. Silva”
When: Saturday, February 12, 2011
Where: IZOD Center, East Rutherford, N.J., and broadcast live on Showtime

The eagerly-anticipated Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix is slated to kick off Saturday night at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and the main event will feature none other than legendary fighter Fedor Emelianenko against Brazilian behemoth Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.  It’s an epic matchup, and an auspicious start to an epic tournament – and it’s made all the more compelling by the fact that this will be Fedor’s first step back into the cage since his unexpected loss to Fabricio Werdum last year.  Was Werdum’s triangle submission a fluke?  Or was it a sign the “Last Emperor’s” long reign as uncontested king has come to an end?  In Bigfoot, Fedor faces an opponent with a jiu-jitsu black belt and close to a 50-pound weight advantage – how will that factor into the equation?

Elsewhere on the card, former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski will likely have his chin checked, this time by Russian slugger Sergei Kharitonov.  Meanwhile, Strikeforce Challengers alumni Lavar Johnson and Shane Del Rosario will square off, and Valentijn Overeem (brother to champ Alistair Overeem) takes on K-1 kickboxing vet Ray Sefo in two tournament reserve bouts. 

According to promoter Scott Coker, they’re anticipating upwards of 13,000 spectators within the IZOD Center.  With the heavyweight fireworks on tap, those thousands in attendance should come away satisfied.

Full Card:
Heavyweight Tournament Bouts
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Heavyweight Tournament Reserve Bouts
Shane Del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson
Valentijn Overeem vs. Ray Sefo
Gian Villante vs. Chad Griggs
Preliminary Bouts
LW: John Cholish vs. Marc Stevens
WW: Igor Gracie vs. John Salgado
WW: Sam Oropeza vs. Don Carlo-Clauss
FW: Anthony Leone vs. Josh LaBerge
FW: Kevin Roddy vs. Jason McLean

READ MORE - Strikeforce Preview

Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” Weigh-In Results

Friday, February 11, 2011

By FCF Staff

Tomorrow’s quarter-final bouts for the opening round of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand-Prix are now official, as Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski and opponent Sergei Kharitonov all made weight this afternoon in East Rutherford, New Jersey.(Pictured: Fedor (left) and Silva face off)

Fights from Saturday’s main card will be broadcast on Showtime while preliminary action from the event will be shown on HDNet. East Rutherford’s IZOD Center is the host venue.

Here are the official results from this afternoon’s weigh-ins:

Main Card
Fedor Emelianenko (230) vs. Antonio Silva (264)
Sergei Kharitonov (250) vs. Andrei Arlovski (242)
Shane Del Rosario (248) vs. Lavar Johnson (243)
Chad Griggs (229) vs. Gian Villante (227)
Valentijn Overeem (239) vs. Ray Sefo (249)

Preliminary Card
John Cholish (155.75) vs. Marc Stevens (156.5)
John Salgado (170) vs. Igor Gracie (170.75)
Don Carlo-Clauss (170.4) vs. Sam Oropeza (169.75)
Josh LaBerge (145.75) vs. Anthony Leone (146.2)
Jason McLean (145.5) vs. Kevin Roddy (145.75)

Arlovski (left) and Kharitonov
Griggs and Villante (right)
READ MORE - Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” Weigh-In Results

Lapsley Replaces Carl at Bellator 35; Imada Added to Season 4

By FCF Staff

Just days after Bellator announced that Steve Carl would meet Jay Hieron in the opening round of the promotion’s welterweight tourney on March 5th, the organization has confirmed that Carl has been forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury. Anthony Lapsley (pictured) has been named his replacement for the Bellator 35 card.

“While the Steve Carl injury was devastating to hear, I’m excited for the opportunity Anthony is getting with Bellator,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Lapsley (19-4) will head into the tourney having won 4 straight bouts; the former collegiate wrestler and 31 year-old-fighter is coming off a submission win over Ted Worthington last July.

“This is what I've been waiting on my entire career,” said Lapsley.  “I've been waiting for the opportunity to make some good money, for one, and also to finally get the recognition I deserve. I've put in some work in the game and I've been through my struggles and ups and downs, but I feel like I'm ready to take it to the next level and make it happen for the family. Winning this tournament is going to change my life, and change my kids lives.”

“Jay [Hieron] is actually a fighter I've always enjoyed watching, I just never thought I'd have the opportunity to fight him,” said Lapsley. “It's going to be a war. It's going to be a war because I'm going to make it a war. He's been on some big shows and fought some really tough guys, but it's my turn now.”

Bellator 35 will take place at the Taichi Palace and Casino in Leemoore, California on March 5th, and will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

In other Bellator news, the promotion has announced that Toby Imada (28-15) will make a run at winning the lightweight tourney for a third time. The Judo black belt has advanced to the tourney finals twice now, but failed to deliver victories against current champ Eddie Alvarez, and more recently, Pat Curran.

“Toby’s been just one win away for the last two Lightweight Tournaments.  He consistently brings a ‘go for broke’ attitude to the cage and is always looking for the finish,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This Lightweight tournament is stacked; we have a great mix of new fighters and veterans in the field, which will make for some great fights.”

The lightweight tourney is set to get underway next month, and like all Season 4 action from Bellator, it will be broadcast on MTV 2. 

“I'm a little annoyed, I have a little bit of a mean streak going on right now, a little more of a fire under my butt this time around,” said Imada. “I'm definitely going to be meaner and more aggressive. I'm ready to go out there and give it my all. I'm tired of being the guy that comes up short and doesn't live up to what people expect from him. I'm going to give it all I have this time around, believe me. I'm going to be mean.”

READ MORE - Lapsley Replaces Carl at Bellator 35; Imada Added to Season 4

Patricky Freire Confirmed for Bellator LW Tourney

By FCF Staff

Bellator has announced that another “Pitbull” will compete in the promotion’s fourth season, as Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, brother of featherweight competitor Patricio, has been confirmed for the upcoming lightweight tournament. The competition will get underway in March and will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

“We’ve had our eye on Patricky for quite some time now, and it’s great to have both “Pitbull Brothers” fighting under the Bellator banner,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney in a press release from the promotion.

Freire competed for the first time since 2007 last year and went 3-0. The BJJ black belt and Team Nogueira fighter is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yure Machado at an Arena Gold event last July. Freire has put together a record of 7-1 since he began fighting professionally in 2005.

“I’m very anxious to show fans in the United States what I'm capable of,” said Freire, who in addition to being a decorated jiu-jitsu competitor in Brazil, has won state championships in boxing and kickboxing. “Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to fight at a really high level, and now I will with Bellator. I have always trained and fought very hard, and now it's time to test myself in deeper waters.”

Freire joins Ferrid Kheder, Rob McCullough, Carey Vanier, Michael Chandler, and Lloyd Woodard as confirmed fighters for the lightweight tourney, which will see the winner earn $100,000 and a bout with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.

READ MORE - Patricky Freire Confirmed for Bellator LW Tourney

Video: Strikeforce's Coker, Heavyweights Talk Grand-Prix

Thursday, February 10, 2011

READ MORE - Video: Strikeforce's Coker, Heavyweights Talk Grand-Prix

Manhoef Replaces Rockhold; Faces Kennedy Mar. 5th

By FCF Staff

Due to the continued injury woes of rising middleweight Luke Rockhold, Strikeforce has confirmed that punishing striker Melvin Manhoef will face contender Tim Kennedy, at the promotion’s upcoming March 5th event in Columbus, Ohio. Rockhold was forced to withdraw from the bout due to leg injury he incurred in training last week.

“Man, this is beyond really disappointing,’’ said Rockhold, who was unable to fight Matt Lindland in October because of a shoulder injury. “I’d been feeling great and working hard and was really pumped for the fight with Kennedy.

“I know injuries are part of the game, but I want to fight. That’s what I do. It’s pretty swollen now, but once my leg is 100 percent I’m coming back with a vengeance.’’

Manhoef (24-8-1) will look to get back on track after dropping back-to-back bouts to Robbie Lawler and most recently, Tatsuya Mizuno. The Dutch fighter’s last win came at K-1’s 2009 Dynamite event, when he stopped Japanese middleweight Kazuo Misaki.

“I come to fight and give my very best,’’ the 5-foot-8, 34-year-old Manhoef said. “I am very, very hungry. I need to win this fight. I am looking forward to fighting Tim Kennedy.’’

Kennedy (12-3) will fight for the first time since losing by unanimous decision to current middleweight champ, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza last August. The loss was Kennedy’s first since 2007 and ended the decorated American soldier’s four fight winning streak, which included wins over UFC vets Trevor Prangley and Nick Thompson.

The March 5th, Strikeforce card will be hosted by the Nationwide Arena in Columbus and will be broadcast on Showtime. A light-heavyweight tilt between champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Dan Henderson will headline the event.

READ MORE - Manhoef Replaces Rockhold; Faces Kennedy Mar. 5th

Judo Olympian Ferrid Kheder Added to Bellator LW Tourney

By FCF Staff

Bellator Fighting Championships has announced that accomplished judo competitor, Ferrid Kheder, will compete in the promotion’s upcoming Season Four, lightweight tourney. The news marks the second time Kheder has been confirmed as a tourney competitor, as the 35 year-old-veteran was scheduled to fight in Bellator’s Season Two, until a bout with appendicitis forced his withdrawal.

“As a former Olympian, Ferrid brings dangerous grappling skills to this tournament. I’m looking forward to seeing Ferrid finally make his Bellator debut this season,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney in the official announcement.

Kheder (18-5) will enter the tourney riding a six fight, undefeated streak, which includes a win over Steve Berger and most recently, a no contest result with Hermes Franca. Kheder, who was a member of France’s Olympic Judo squad in 2000, has not lost since September, 2009, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Daisuke Nakamura.

“I'm absolutely determined to win this tournament. I think I'm one of the best in the world when I have the proper training and I'm fully prepared,” said Kheder.  “I have three fights to win in this tournament, and then I'll have the opportunity to fight for the title against one of the best lightweights in the world. I know this is a really huge opportunity for me.”

Kheder is the fifth competitor to be confirmed for the lightweight tournament, joining Rob McCullough, Carey Vanier, Michael Chandler, and Lloyd Woodard. The winner of the competition will win $100,000 and a bout with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.

Bellator’s Season Four will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

READ MORE - Judo Olympian Ferrid Kheder Added to Bellator LW Tourney

Strikeforce HW Grand-Prix Presser Quotes and Pics

By FCF Staff

The hype machine for Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand-Prix continued to roll yesterday, as the promotion held a press conference in New York City, just days removed from the competition’s opening round Saturday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The tourney’s first card, which will be hosted by the IZOD Center, will feature Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov. Other non-tournament bouts to take place Saturday include Shane Del Rosario (10-0) vs. Lavar “Big’’ Johnson (15-3), Chad “The Grave Digger’’ Griggs  (9-1) vs. Gian Villante (7-1) and Valentijn Overeem (28-25) vs. Ray “Sugarfoot’’ Sefo (2-0). The event will be broadcast on Showtime.

Here is some of what the fighters on hand at yesterday’s presser had to say:

Fedor (left) and Silva
Fedor Emelianenko

“I am very happy to be fighting again and looking forward to a good fight. Losing a fight didn’t change anything for me. I have worked very hard.’’

Antonio Silva

“I am very, very excited and happy. I’ve wanted this fight a long time. Fedor is a great fighter and a great person. But if you want to rise to the top you have to be the best, and Fedor is definitely still one of the very best.

“The odds are all in Fedor’s favor but the odds do not reflect reality. The truth is, this fight could go either way. I am very confident and I’m here to win.’’

Andrei Arlovski

"These three last guys who kicked my (butt) have motivated me. I'm determined. This tournament is a great opportunity."

 Sergei Kharitonov

"I don't think I'm getting Arlovski at a good time because of his losses. (His opponents) were some of the best fighters in the world. It's probably worse for me because he is hungry to win.

"Andrei took great shots from Silva. His fan-friendly style leaves him open. Anyone can get caught. His chin is not suspect."

Alistair Overeem

"This is going to be the biggest tournament in the world. Fedor is a favorite and a legend but we'll see who the last man standing is."

Fabricio Werdum
“The best heavyweights in the world are in Strikeforce and it’s great they are doing a tournament to settle who the No. 1 heavyweight in the world is.

“I’m looking forward to fighting Overeem again. He won three belts last year. I may not be the favorite, but I feel I should be one of the favorites to win it.’’

Josh Barnett

“This tournament is hugely important for MMA at large and especially for the heavyweight division because this is the greatest collection of heavyweight talent ever assembled for one tournament.  This is not just a paper thing. The winner will be the No. 1 heavyweight in the world.

“I’m very excited and glad to be part of it and hope to use it as a stepping-stone to re-establish my career and to re-establish myself as the No. 1 fighter.

‘I haven’t lost in years and don’t plan to now.’’

The Grand Prix Competitors
 Brett Rogers

“I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on track and am very happy to be in this tournament. It will show where I am as a fighter.

“This tournament will prove that Strikeforce heavyweights can get in and bang with anybody in the world and that the Strikeforce organization has the best heavyweights in the world. There’s always a question as to who is best, but there will be no question once this is over. There are no easy fights, there are no gimme wins. Whoever wins this tournament will have had to fight to win it, and I like that.

“I am very focused and determined. My sites now are on only one thing and that is my first fight with Josh Barnett. I’ve watched him a long time. I know how good he is. I’m really looking forward to fighting him.’’

Shane Del Rosario

“Getting on this show is a reward for five years of hard work. This is a huge opportunity and a huge step up.

“We are both at similar stages in our careers and both are ready to accept the challenge. This is going to be a very good, hard-fought, exciting fight for sure.’’

Lavar Johnson

 “I appreciate that Strikeforce has put me on this card and that I’m fighting on Showtime again. I think Shane is a great fighter. This fight is very important, obviously. The winner maintains his status in the division. Conditioning could be a very big part of it. Shane’s quick and recovers very well.

“It’s an honor to be on this card. I’m a huge fan of all the fighters in the tournament and I cannot wait to see how it unfolds. It should be very exciting.’’

Chad Griggs
“The win over Bobby Lashley was a good win and got me recognition because of his name. This should be a good fight, too. My only thoughts going in are to win and put on a good shot.

“I know the guy I’m fighting is a good fighter who is hungry and well-conditioned and making his first appearance on the big stage.

“I know he’s tough and likes to start strong, so let’s see how he does once he gets a little pressure put on him.’’

Gian Villante

“This is all pretty awesome for a guy who has been fighting on mostly much smaller shows in New Jerseys. Fighting for Strikeforce on Showtime is definitely a major step up for me but I’m looking forward to the challenge. It should be fun.

“I have a lot of friends who’ll be rooting for me on Saturday. I know if they aren’t at the arena, they’ll be watching on Showtime.’’

Valentijn Overeem

"I've had just a couple fights in America, but it's been a while. It's a good feeling to see how the sport has grown in the states. More people will know me and Ray Sefo on Sunday morning. The outcome of the fight will determine which one of us they'll know more."

"I don't have a favorite way to end a fight. But I don't love going the distance."

Ray Sefo

“I’m looking forward to fighting back for Strikeforce again. The plan is to go out and do what I know how to do, and win by knockout.

“I’m not looking past Saturday, but I want to fight MMA more this year.’’
READ MORE - Strikeforce HW Grand-Prix Presser Quotes and Pics

Lloyd Woodard Confirmed for Bellator LW Tourney

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

By FCF Staff

With the welterweight quarterfinals for Bellator’s fourth season now official for March 5th, the promotion continues to announce the competitors for its upcoming lightweight tourney. Today the organization confirmed that it has signed the undefeated Lloyd Woodard and that the Montana lightweight will participate in the competition.

“I'm ready to go out there and do what I love to do, which is fight hard and fight the best guys that are out there,” said Woodard in the official announcement. “I'm a really big fan of Eddie Alvarez and I would love to fight him. That would be a real step up. It would be like fighting my idol, so I plan on winning this tournament so I can fight him.”

Woodard (10-0) has scored eight stoppage victories since he began competing professionally in 2008; most recently in July, he submitted Alonzo Martinez in the first round at an Extreme Challenge card.

“It doesn't matter who I fight in the first round of this tournament,” Woodard said. “I'm pretty sure they're going to be a really tough fighter, so that's what I'm preparing for. I just can't wait to get in that cage and show people what I can do. Every time I fight, more and more people are able to see me in exciting fights. The more I fight, the more people will see me, and the longer I'll be able to compete in this sport.”

Woodard joins “Razor” Rob McCullough, Carey Vanier, and Michael Chandler as confirmed fighters for the tourney, which is scheduled to begin in March. Bellator’s Season Four action will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

READ MORE - Lloyd Woodard Confirmed for Bellator LW Tourney