“The Pitbull” will be looking to snap a four-fight losing streak that includes first-round knockouts against Fedor Emelianenko, Brett Rogers, and Sergei Kharitonov. Arlovski’s opponent is unknown at this time — but since Tim Sylvia is also being rumored as another ProElite signee, well, are you thinking what we’re thinking?
Fabricio Werdum has finally responded to Alistair Overeem’s claims that he should be ashamed of his performance on Saturday night in their Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal match-up. According to Vai Cavalo, Overeem didn’t beat him; he lost the bout on his own by not listening to his corner and instead attempting time and time again to coax “The Demolition Man” into his guard.
“I don’t believe he won, I lost to myself. I could’ve won. The feeling I’m having now is worse than if he has smashed me up and if he was way better than me on the three rounds, winning with a large advantage,” he told TATAME today. “The guys is good, alright, so I’d have to keep my head down and train more. But it wasn’t like that and that made me choked. It was a [mediocre] bout, the fans expected much more, but he didn’t want to the ground at any cost.”
The public service announcement has been part of American culture for decades. Popularized by the perpetually foxy Nancy Reagan in the ’80s, the PSA has taught us everything from not smoking crack to not dumping a pot of boiling oil on your face, and a whole bunch of other not’s. It has also served as a way to punish celebrities and athletes who did something incredibly stupid and got caught.
MMA fighters eventually began to get roped into this as the popularity of the sport rose; some are good, while others should be avoided as much as strangers in pick-up trucks who offer to let you see their puppy. That is why today I present to you the top eight public service announcements featuring MMA fighters. Why? Because knowing is half the battle…
8. Randy Couture VS Crystal Meth
Just say no to drugs! Randy Couture enters the battle against Methamphetamines in this PSA, because when you think crystal meth, think Randy Couture. For a video that is meant to appear sad and claustrophobic, it comes off like an amateur snuff film and loses its impact with the soft-spoken UFC veteran.
Couture has done plenty of these ads, so don’t be surprised if he pops back up on this list. Am I saying he will for sure? No, but if I did, would you stop loving me? I can’t handle any more rejection…oh man, sinking back into that pit of despair. I need some meth. But if I do that, then Randy won’t love me either. Argh, what a vicious cycle! But seriously kids, don’t do drugs. If you feel yourself losing power to your addiction, go punch a hobo instead. It’s much more fulfilling, but don’t take my word for it.
Oh, and I lied. Randy does not appear again on this list. That was the crystal meth talking.
Following the post-event press conference at “Fedor vs. Silva” on Saturday night, I was able to get a couple minutes with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who ran down his thoughts on the insanity we’d all just witnessed — as well as some other big topics swirling around his promotion. To summarize:
- Coker still feels that Fedor Emelianenko‘s heart is still in competing, mainly because the first round of his fight against Antonio Silva wasn’t a total blowout. (By the way, a draw after two rounds? That second round was a clear 10-8 for Silva in my opinion, and the first round wasn’t a clear-cut win for Fedor either.)
- Whatever Andrei Arlovski does next is up to his camp, but Coker doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about putting him in the cage again.
Being a judge for Strikeforce events must be the easiest gig in town. You can say what you will about their matchmaking, but—Challengers series aside—their last 13 consecutive televised fights have ended without tallying up the scorecards. Strikeforce has been steadily building its reputation as a promotion that puts on exciting fights, if not always competitive ones. And while the general public will gravitate toward the action, exciting fights are something that any promotion can deliver on any given night. That’s why last night’s event was about so much more to Strikeforce. It was about bringing back the energy and momentum of the tournament format. It was about distancing themselves from the pack and making a name for themselves as the promotion that takes risks and carves their own path. So, did the gamble pay off? Let’s break it down.
“People like to think they are experts on things they think they know,” Kharitonov says. “I beat Alistair (Overeem) and (Fabricio) Werdum and (accomplished) that at a time when my stand-up skills were not 25 percent (of) what (they are) now. You do the math.”
In fact, the Russian-paratrooper-turned-Golden-Glory-kickboxer says a bunch of totally badass stuff to Tapology. Stuff that only becomes more badass when you imagine him saying it in monotone, heavily-accented English like a certain 1980s movie villain we could mention. Case-in-point, Kharitonov’s message for first-round opponent Andrei Arlovski: “I will break you.” That’s right, he said it.
If you didn’t believe us when we told you that Tim Sylvia is a part-time cop in Illinois, maybe the ride-along video above will convince you.
Notice that the department made Big Tim shave off his goatee and those trademark mutton chops — not because they have a dress code, just because they thought he looked ridiculous. Rumor has it they eventually made him stop wearing his Powerhouse World Promotions heavyweight strap while on duty, too.
The former UFC heavyweight champ’s worries that nobody would recognize him were soon squashed.
"I”ve been recognized a few times pulling guys over," he explains. "Some guys when I pull up and ask for their license, registration, insurance, they’re like, ‘Are you Tim Sylvia?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ ‘That’s cool, man. I just got pulled over by Tim Sylvia,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, be safe, slow down and have a good day.’"
(Remember when Sergei Kharitonov sent Alistair Overeem‘s lifeless body through the ropes at K-1 Hero’s 10? No? Then you really need to watch these videos…)
In our excitement for Strikeforce’s potentially insane heavyweight tournament, one point seems to be getting lost in the narrative — namely, that these guys have already fought each other many, many times before. Five of the eight competitors (Werdum, Arlovski, Overeem, Emelianenko, Rogers) have previously faced at least three other fighters in the tournament field. Fabricio Werdum has actually fought everyone except Brett Rogers and Josh Barnett, and only Barnett himself has managed to go his entire career without bumping up against anybody else in this year’s bracket.
All told, there’s eleven twelve fights worth of shared history among the Strikeforce HWGP competitors, dating back over five years. To help you study for the quarterfinals next month, we’ve posted them all below in chronological order…
UPDATE: We originally forgot to include Fabricio Werdum’s decision win over Antonio Silva. So actually, there have been 12 previous meetings, not 11. The video has now been added.
(Sergei Kharitonov def. Fabricio Werdum via split decision; PRIDE 30, 10/23/05)
(Alistair Overeem def. Sergei Kharitonov via TKO, 5:13 of round 1; PRIDE 31, 2/26/06)
Strikeforce has just released the bracket for their clusterfuctacular heavyweight tournament, which should clear up some of the conflictingreports about who’s fighting who. What it doesn’t specify is when these fights are taking place. We know that Emelianenko vs. Silva and Arlovski vs. Kharitonov are both happening February 12th in New Jersey. Overeem/Werdum and Barnett/Rogers are tentatively slated to go down in April, exact date and location TBA. And the semi-finals and finals? Your guess is as good as ours, bro. With a little bit of luck, this entire dirty business will be settled by the time President Trump takes office.
(Personally, I think that getting all these guys together for a single-night tournament is the only way you can insure that the semi-finals and finals will actually take place, but we’re trying to stay positive here. For what it’s worth, Scott Coker is adamant that Josh Barnett’s licensing issues will not bar him from competing in the GP.)