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Tag: Fabricio Werdum

Strikeforce New York Fan Experience Highlights: Heavyweight Grand Prix Fighters Assemble, Werdum Makes That Weird Face Again

Fabricio Werdum Strikeforce funny face smile MMA photos

(That’s what we call commitment to the bit. Props: MMA.us)

Approximately 1,500 MMA fans swarmed the Roseland Ballroom in New York City yesterday afternoon for a special meet-and-greet with the participants from Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix. The action begins this Saturday at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with two quarterfinal matches — Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov — and three reserve matches, featuring Shane Del Rosario, Chad Griggs, and Valentijn Overeem. If you’re going to be there in person, please swing by the press pit to receive a complimentary fist-bump from BG.

We’ve collected some video highlights from yesterday’s festivities after the jump: First, all eight members of the heavyweight GP are introduced to the crowd by horrific YAMMA/Affliction vet Scott Ferrall. Then, Alistair Overeem talks to Ariel Helwani about his new love of American football, getting ducked by Fedor, and Dana White’s opinion that he’s not a top ten heavyweight. Finally, Fabricio Werdum shows off his special move for the tournament, and we have to admit, it’s pretty damn special. Check it out.

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Video: Fedor Training for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in Russia


(Video courtesy of YouTube/ShoSports)

It’s curious that whenever you see Fedor Emelianenko training, it always seems to be with younger, smaller, less skillful opponents and that he never seems to be going above 50% intensity. The fact that he’s talking about bringing in Shane Carwin to help him prepare for the later rounds of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix may be an indicator of the level of training partners he has to pick from in his gym since his brother Aleksander and Gegard Mousasi left the Red Devil team.

As you can see in the video above, Fedor had an OK training camp, but didn’t really seem to get pushed much in the clips we saw. It makes you wonder what kind of shape he would be in and whether or not he would have lost to Werdum if he had spent the last year training at, say, Xtreme Couture. They say when you’re the top dog in the gym, it’s time to find a new gym where you’re in the middle of the pack trying to work your way to the top.

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Unsubstantiated Reports say Strikeforce Close to Finalizing Japanese Stage of Heavyweight GP


("I hear Dothan, Alabama is beautiful this time of year." PicProps: SB Nation )

Strikeforce appears on the verge of a solution to its Josh Barnett problem on Friday, as at least one internet report contends the company is close to a deal to take the MMA veteran/troubled teen to Japan for the first round of its heavyweight grand prix. MMA-Japan.com – a site affiliated with the good folks at Middle Easy – published the four-line story alleging that Strikeforce will partner with Real Entertainment and “possibly M-1 (Global)” to  stage a show on April 10 that will go down in “the afternoon hours (in Japan) in order to be shown live in the United States.” The story cites no sources and just states all of the above as fact, but since the boys at the Easy usually know their shit, we figure it’s worth repeating.

Obviously, rumors that Strikeforce is eyeing an international venue for this leg of the GP have been percolating for a few weeks. If true, it’ll mark the first time one of America’s two “major” MMA promotions has ventured to Japan since UFC 29 back in 2000. It also means the company will have found a temporary way around Barnett’s ongoing legal issues. In addition, the April show is expected to include Alistair Overeem’s opening round bout against Fabricio Werdum and staging it overseas would save The Reem from having to “pass” any more of those "independent drug tests." That’s what you call a “two birds, one stone” approach, kids.

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It’s Official: Strikeforce is Just Making This Sh*t Up as It Goes


("I’m thinking of a number between 1-20. First person to guess it gets to be Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion. No shit, we’ll give you a belt and everything." PicProps: Canvas Chronicle)

So, in a nutshell? Strikeforce held a conference call yesterday where it contradicted many of the things it just told us last week about its proposed heavyweight grand prix tournament. No, the title won’t be on the line. No, the fights (excepting the final) won’t be five rounds. Instead, the winner will become the Strikeforce tournament champion and will get a shot at Alistair Overeem’s belt after the grand prix wraps up … some time in like 2015. Unless Overeem himself wins the tournament. In that case, aside from The Reem having another hunk of gold to add to his collection and Strikeforce having zero title contenders left, we have no idea what happens next. From the sound of it, neither does Strikeforce.

Some other oddities in the tournament “rules” revealed yesterday: In the unlikely event of a draw, the promotion will call upon a fourth judge to break the tie. That’s cool, because draws suck. It’s also shitty, because the “fourth judge” will reportedly be appointed by Strikeforce, not an athletic commission and therefore stands to be even less trustworthy than the blind simpletons who normally score MMA fights. Also, in the very likely event that someone can’t continue in the tournament due to injury (or some other reason) a five-person “tournament committee” comprised of Strikeforce officials will handpick a replacement. If you think this concept is obviously rife with major conflicts of interests, well, you’re right. Don’t worry though, it will all sound very official. Kind of like in the ’80s when “Jack Tunney” used to be the “president” of the WWF.

Anyway, after the jump, some meditations on how all the things we told you in the above two paragraphs could potentially make this tournament go all fubar. We have questions, people. Tons of questions.

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Scott Coker Explains Lopsided Nature of Strikeforce Tournament Bracket


(According to a clause in his new contract, Fedor gets to play with half the Batman Legos set now and the other half when he shows up for the semis. PicProps: Showtime)

There’s just something about brackets, man. The human male would probably tune in to a tiddlywinks tournament if it could be neatly arranged in the elegant efficiency of a single elimination bracket. Nothing else allows us to channel our inner fanboy or bring out the modern jackass in our personalities quite like it. Once a year, the mythical lure of the bracket even makes college basketball seem interesting; it’s that powerful. Now, draw up a bracket populated by 265-pound behemoths who are charged with beating the dogshit out of each other until only one is left standing? Well, let’s just say you’ve got our attention.

Suffice it to say that upon poring over the proposed pairings for the 2011 Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix this week, it didn’t take long for the keen bracketologists in the MMA community to notice that the left-hand side of that badboy seemed a bit, um, stacked, while the right side appeared to be Josh Barnett and three other dudes. With Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem all on the same side of the tournament draw, eyebrows were raised in a collective: WTF? Werdum said he thought it was meant to sell pay-per-views. Overeem said he thought it was weird, but wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it. Barnett hasn’t said shit yet, but we assume he’ll take it. Now, the speculation can (sort of) end as company CEO Scott Coker explains to MMA Fighting.com exactly why Strikeforce overstocked one side of the bracket with all its top talent. It turns out not even the promotion itself believed it could engineer the desired Overeem vs. Fedor final, so it fudged things a little bit.

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Fight Video Roundup: All 12 Previous Meetings Between Strikeforce Heavyweight GP Participants [UPDATED]

Sergei Kharitonov Alistair Overeem MMA photos K-1 Hero's 10 Middleweight Tournament Final Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix
(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)

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Overeem ‘Surprised’ Strikeforce Made Such Lopsided Tournament Brackets


(Would you believe that this photo was taken just two years ago before Alistair discovered the benefits of horse meat?)

When Strikeforce announced that heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem would be fighting Fabricio Werdum in the quarter finals of its heavyweight grand prix and that the winner would be facing Fedor Emelianenko in the semi-finals, the news raised more than a few eyebrows.

According to "The Reem," even he was a bit taken aback by the San Jose, California-based promotion’s decision to eliminate three heavily-anticipated potential final round match-ups so early in the tournament, but he says that it’s not his job to question the decision of his employer and that he’ll fight whomever Strikeforce puts in front of him.

"I have been looking for a big fight for more than a year now. Tournament or no tournament, Werdum was going to be my first fight in Strikeforce [in 2011]. All the fighters in that tournament are good, so there are no easy fights," he explained to MMAJunkie. "I’m a little surprised [that our bracket has myself, Fedor and Fabricio in it], and I don’t know why this bracket is designed this way, but my job is to fight. I’m not picking opponents, so if that’s the way they made the bracket, so be it."

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Werdum Says He’s ‘Training His Bang’ for Heavyweight GP, But Will Use His ‘Smartness’ to Beat Overeem Again


(Sorry little lady, you must be as tall as the Fabricio Werdum sign in order to ride the rock-o-planes. PicProps: ProMMANow)

Everyone’s favorite Portuguese-to-English MMA news resource is at it again this weekend, posting a lengthy (and adorably mistranslated) interview with Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix participant Fabricio Werdum. Tatame.com sits down with Werdum as he prepares for the pie-in-the-sky tournament at the Reign Training Center in California, getting the scoop on the Porto Alegre native’s recovery from an injury that kept him out for much of 2010, how he feels about giving Alistair Overeem a rematch from their 2006 bout and who he thinks will emerge from the other (obviously weaker) side of the tournament bracket.

The answers (in order) are: Good, not so good, Kharitonov and Barnett. Though he is fully recovered from the elbow he jacked up while shocking the world in defeating Fedor Emelianenko last June, Werdum doesn’t sound particularly psyched about his upcoming date with Overeem. Weirdly, the fact that he’s reportedly getting a shot at the Strikeforce heavyweight belt in the first round of the GP doesn’t even come up. He does however indicate that he’s looking forward to a second meeting with Fedor in the semis, which he casually mentions could be on pay-per-view. Werdum says he’s been “working on his bang” to get ready for The Reem but still plans on taking the bout to the mat, where he’ll use his conditioning and “smartness” to get the victory.

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Title Could Change Hands Three Times in Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Tourney

Strikeforce heavyweight tournament bracket Fedor Werdum Overeem Barnett Silva Rogers Kharitonov Arlovski
(Image courtesy of Strikeforce via MMA Convert)

Strikeforce has just released the bracket for their clusterfuctacular heavyweight tournament, which should clear up some of the conflicting reports 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.)

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Fedor vs. Silva, Arlovski vs. Barnett to Kick Off Strikeforce Heavyweight Tourney Feb. 12 in NJ


(Dress it up however you like, this tournament will likely end in disaster for Strikeforce.)

Well it looks like Strikeforce is going ahead with its ill-fated heavyweight tournament after all.

The San Jose, California-based promotion revealed to Sherdog over the weekend three of its planned quarter final bouts. 

According to the report, Fedor Emelianenko will look to rebound from the only legitimate loss of his career when he takes on Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Andrei Arlovski will attempt to disprove all of his detractors who feel the Belarusian fighter would be better suited to play a henchman in b-movies when he locks horns with Josh Barnett at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 12.

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