MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament

Hey, At Least Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Tournament Has a Date Set for its Finale


(We know Josh, we’re frustrated too.) 

I’m going to level with you for a second, Potato Nation. As I write this, it’s nearing five o’clock on what has been a dull and dreary Friday here in the Adirondacks. I’ve spent nearly all of my money on a bunch of ill-advised Christmas gifts and I’m looking to throw the rest into a bar tab starting pronto, so I apologize for my rather apathetic candor whilst delivering this news.

It has recently been announced that a date for the long anticipated finals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament has been set at last, and a location has also been determined. March 3rd, at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. UFC/ PRIDE veteran Josh Barnett will face undefeated prospect Daniel Cormier. In two and a half freaking months. If you recall, this Goddamned tournament began over 10 months ago.

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‘Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov’ Press Conference Highlight Video

Man, it’s been a crazy week, huh? Between the UFC 137 lineup shuffle and the announcement of Alistair Overeem’s entry into the UFC, you may have forgotten that the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals are going down tomorrow night at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. We’ll be liveblogging the action starting at 10:30 p.m. ET, so don’t be a stranger.

MMAFighting was on the scene yesterday for the “Barnett vs. Kharitonov” press conference, and released the above highlight video. Skip to the 1:33 mark to see Daniel Cormier give away his gameplan against Antonio Silva; lots of laughs there. Later, King Mo says what everybody’s thinking: “I was hoping more people [would be] out here, more media, and more questions, but really I guess y’all don’t care about us that much. I’m just keeping it real. Me and Roger [Gracie] gonna put on a good fight, it’s gonna be a good card. I think people are gonna miss out on it because everybody’s worried about other issues instead of the fights this weekend. I’m just being real.”

Also on the card, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defends his middleweight belt against Luke Rockhold — who hasn’t competed since February 2010 due to injuries — and Maximo Blanco makes his promotional debut against Pat Healy. The complete lineup is after the jump.

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Business as Usual: Josh Barnett Forced to Cancel Pro Wrestling Gig Against Jerome Le Banner Due to Zuffa Pressure


(Sorry, kids. Christmas is canceled this year.)

Josh Barnett is currently scheduled to face Sergei Kharitonov in the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, September 10th in Cincinnati. He was also scheduled to face kickboxing legend Jerome Le Banner in an August 27th pro-wrestling match for IGF in Japan, because he’s Josh Barnett, and fake-fighting dudes that he could just as easily fight for real is what he does, damn it.

But while that sort of thing wouldn’t have batted an eye under Scott Coker’s droopy watch, Zuffa runs a much tighter ship, and won’t run the risk of Barnett suffering an injury in a worked puroresu match two weeks before he has to show up for a legit cage-fight. As Fighters Only reports:

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Report: Remaining Strikeforce HWGP Quarterfinal Bouts Won’t Happen on April 9


(“Is there any way you can hold those poses until the summer?”)

It struck us as blindly optimistic when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the second leg of his heavyweight tournament quarterfinals would take place on April 9th, even before he had a venue (or a host country) locked down. If it was just a matter of finding an arena with an open date on its schedule, it wouldn’t be a problem, but Josh Barnett‘s licensing issues made the task a lot more challenging.

So it’s really no surprise to read this new Sherdog report, which claims that Strikeforce’s remaining heavyweight tournament quarterfinals — Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, and Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum — won’t be happening on April 9th after all. Sources close to the promotion tell Sherdog that Strikeforce will host their 4/9 event in California (a forbidden zone for the Babyface Assassin), but with no tournament fights on the card. Instead, the event will feature a lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri — a rematch of their bout at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 — and possibly another welterweight title defense from Nick Diaz (opponent TBA, though Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley are options).

Anyway, that’s what some sources are saying. Other sources hear it differently…

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Exclusive: Brett Rogers Discusses Josh Barnett, Strikeforce Heavyweight GP


Brett Rogers interview – Watch more Funny Videos

After starting his career with ten consecutive KO/TKO victories (eight of which were earned in the first round), Brett Rogers came face-to-face with MMA’s heavyweight elite — and couldn’t rise to the challenge. A competitive bout with Fedor Emelianenko in November 2009 ended in a second-round loss thanks to a devastating overhand right. Somehow, Rogers was graced with a title shot for his next appearance, and got Reem’d in short order.

The Grim rebounded with a decision win over Ruben “Warpath” Villareal in October, and now finds himself in the eight-man field of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix, where he’ll be facing Josh Barnett in the quarterfinals on April 9th (venue TBA). Our reporter Brian J. D’Souza caught up with Rogers at last weekend’s Fedor vs. Silva event to get his thoughts on the fights, his matchup with the Babyface Assassin, Fedor Emelianenko’s decline, and the opportunity to redeem himself in the heavyweight GP. Give it a look.

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‘Fedor vs. Silva’ Post-Fight Press Conference Highlights: Emelianenko’s Possible Return to the GP, The Dueling Overeems + More

Just wanted to pass along a few interesting moments from Fedor vs. Silva‘s post-fight presser, which featured all of the night’s winning fighters, plus the other four heavyweight grand prix competitors who will be squaring off on April 9th (venue TBA). Josh Barnett was the first to be introduced, and he gave the media his usual mix of insightful analysis and comic-book-like hyperbole. “Getting an easy win doesn’t do anything for you,” he said. “I’d rather stare death in the face.”

Scott Coker confirmed that Fedor Emelianenko could theoretically return to the grand prix as an alternate, jumping ahead of Shane Del Rosario, who was supposed to have earned the first replacement spot with his impressive win over Lavar Johnson. Nope. The tournament committee will decide that. And Coker’s not even on the committee. It is only now, two days later, that it’s occurred to me to wonder, “Wait a minute, so who is on the committee?” Vadim Finkelchtein and Gus Johnson? God help us.

After the jump: Alistair Overeem is bummed that Fedor got knocked out of the tournament because of the “glow” he brings to the proceedings, but after being ducked by Fedor twice, he already gave up on the idea of fighting him. Plus, Alistair and his brother Valentijn say that they’d have no problem fighting each other in the context of a tournament. I’m sure Dana White would respect that, but Coker is less than thrilled by the idea.

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Video Roundup: The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP Alternates, Knockin’ Fools Out

(Valentijn Overeem vs. Tengiz Tedoradze @ Pancrase Fighting Championship 2, 4/17/10)

You’ll be seeing all these guys on tomorrow night’s Showtime broadcast of “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva” — and maybe subbing in for one of the main competitors later if they should fall victim to broken hands or licensing issues. So give ‘em a look and enjoy…

(Ray Sefo K-1 knockout highlight.)

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Video Hype: Strikeforce Heavyweight GP ‘Separates the Strong From the Weak’

(Props: shosports)

Tomorrow night in New Jersey, Strikeforce will launch a tournament that will either establish the promotion as innovative big-dogs of the MMA industry — and arguably produce the #1 heavyweight fighter in the world when the dust has settled — or invite even more ridicule when the thing goes tits-up. Who knows how it’ll play out? Right now, all we can say is that Fedor Emelianenko is fighting this weekend (and coming back from the first loss of his career), and that’s a pretty major event in itself.

Weigh-ins for ‘Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva‘ go down today at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The event is open to the public, and will be televised on a live episode of Inside MMA. HD Net will also be broadcasting the preliminary card tomorrow beginning at 8 p.m. ET, featuring TUF 12 vet Marc Stevens against John Cholish, and Igor Gracie vs. John Salgado.

Come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night for round-by-round results from the Showtime broadcast, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

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Fedor Emelianenko: No Stranger to Danger

Fedor Emelianenko Antonio Silva Strikeforce MMA photos faceoff staredown

(My God. I keep expecting Silva to do this to him. / Photo courtesy of MMA.us)

By Anton Gurevich

(Note: As part of a new content partnership, we will occasionally be passing along interesting articles from our friends at LowKick.com. So give ‘em a look…)

Fedor Emelianenko will make his long-anticipated return to Mixed Martial Arts this weekend, facing none other than Brazilian heavy-hitter Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. The fight will open the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, as the winner is expected to advance into the semi-finals against either Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum.

The fight between Emelianenko and Antonio Silva is another classic “Fedor Fight.” Once again, “The Last Emperor” is facing a significantly larger opponent, who looks physically superior to the Russian. Silva will be four inches taller than Fedor, and probably around 45 pounds heavier. On top of that, Bigfoot will enjoy a huge eight-inch reach advantage, which could be a deadly tool during the fight.

Continue reading at Lowkick…

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‘Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva’ Press Conference Photos + Recap

Antonio Silva Fabricio Werdum Strikeforce heavyweight GP tournament press conference MMA photos

(Antonio Silva is fascinated by Fabricio Werdum’s freakishly normal-sized chin.)

Photos and text by Matthew Kaplowitz

Strikeforce has graced the East Coast with their presence throughout this week, as the hype machine for their massive heavyweight grand prix is in full flux. Starting on Tuesday with a meet-and-greet for fans at the Roseland Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan with all eight of the tournament fighters, and continuing on Wednesday downtown with their press conference, Strikeforce is leaving their imprint on the tri-state area, informing natives of New York and New Jersey that the business of MMA has more than three letters.

This journalist/nerd was in the house for their press conference, which saw not only all members of the tournament, but the reserve fighters as well, packed into the swank Lighthouse 61 at Chelsea Piers, the skyline of New York dramatically posed behind them. Personally, I was excited to see that Strikeforce was feeding the reporters, and quite well at that, but even more exciting was the realization that this epic tournament was happening in my area. With MMA still illegal in New York, and very few big shows coming to neighboring states, having Saturday’s event a thirty-minute drive from The Big Apple was bound to help shed some light on how much of an impact MMA can have on the NY economy.

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