Fedor, Silva Cleared for Strikeforce

By Brian Knapp Feb 11, 2011
When a fighter reaches Fedor Emelianenko’s level of notoriety, mere sneezes become news. Weigh-ins turn into events all their own.

Emelianenko tipped the scales at 230 pounds for his heavyweight grand prix quarter-final against former EliteXC champion Antonio Silva (264) at Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Silva” on Saturday at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. The eight other men slated for main card duty -- including co-headliners and grand prix quarter-finalists Andrei Arlovski (242) and Sergei Kharitonov (250) -- also me their mandated weight requirements at Friday’s official weigh-in.

Emelianenko finds himself on the rebound for the first time in more than a decade. The former Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight titleholder last appeared in June, when he succumbed to a first-round triangle choke from Fabricio Werdum. The stunning defeat snapped a 28-fight unbeaten streak for Emelianenko, who had never before been submitted. The 34-year-old Sambo specialist has secured 24 of his 31 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. His list of victims includes 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland, Brazilian icon Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), 2006 Pride open weight grand prix winner Mirko Filipovic and former UFC champions Arlovski, Mark Coleman (twice), Tim Sylvia and Kevin Randleman.

The world-ranked Silva has posted eight wins in nine outings and will enter the cage on a two-fight winning streak. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound behemoth last competed at Strikeforce “Henderson vs. Babalu 2” in December, when he stopped American Kickboxing Academy representative Mike Kyle on second-round punches at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. A black belt in three disciplines -- Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and karate -- Silva has delivered more than half (10) of his 15 career victories by KO or TKO. The 31-year-old Brazilian has not been finished in more than four years.

Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Silva” -- which will also pit Shane del Rosario (248) against Lavar Johnson (243), Chad Griggs (229) against Gian Villante (227) and Valentijn Overeem (239) against Ray Sefo (249) in three grand prix reserve bouts -- will air live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET. Two hours prior, HDNet will carry the show’s prelims: John Cholish (155.75) vs. Marc Stevens (**156.5), Igor Gracie (170.75) vs. John Salgado (170), Sam Oropeza (169.75) vs. Don Carlo-Clauss (170.5), Anthony Leone (*146.2) vs. Josh LaBerge (145.75) and Kevin Roddy (145.75) vs. Jason McLean (145.5).

Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Silva”
Saturday, Feb. 12
Izod Center
East Rutherford, N.J.

Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals

Fedor Emelianenko (230) vs. Antonio Silva (264)
Andrei Arlovski (242) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (250)

Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix (Reserve Bouts)
Lavar Johnson (243) vs. Shane del Rosario (248)
Chad Griggs (229) vs. Gian Villante (227)
Valentijn Overeem (239) vs. Ray Sefo (249)

HDNet Prelims
John Cholish (155.75) vs. Marc Stevens (**156.5)
Igor Gracie (170.75) vs. John Salgado (170)
Sam Oropeza (169.75) vs. Don Carlo-Clauss (170.5)
Anthony Leone (146) vs. Josh LaBerge (145.75)
Kevin Roddy (145.75) vs. Jason McLean (145.5)

* Anthony Leone made weight on his second attempt.

** John Cholish has accepted a catchweight bout with Marc Stevens


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