8 Feb 2011 10:30:05 AM
8 Feb 2011 10:30:05 AM
7 Feb 2011 16:42:48 PM
(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.
2 Feb 2011 05:24:35 AM
(Midwest snow storm, you just got served. Props: twitter.com/hypeordie)
Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail email@example.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…
– Unorthodox Ways Front and Center for Jon Jones (Versus MMA Beat)
- After Losing $3.2 Million Lawsuit, Another Former Employee Sues TapouT (MMA Convert)
– Why Vitor Belfort is Fighting Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title this Weekend (LowKick)
– Four Fight Main Card Official for Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Hendo (FightMagazine)
– The Japanese Comic Book Version of Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez Is Far Cooler Than the Real Thing (MiddleEasy)
– Bellator Finalizes Featherweight Tournament Field With Addition of 19-0 Newcomer Malegariet (Five Ounces of Pain)
– Sengoku 17 Postponed in Response to Media Negativity (MMA Fighting)
– Outside the Ring: Fedor Emelianenko (MMA-Scraps)
– Boredom Overcomes American Kickboxing Academy (5thRound)
– Strikeforce Champion Nick Diaz Talks Contenders Daley, Woodley (SBNation.com/MMA)
19 Jan 2011 08:22:56 AM
(The photo above was paper-clipped to the front of M-1′s memo to tournament participants that drug testing will be mandatory for the GP. Subtle.)
When Dana White’s favorite Crazy Russian, Vadim Finkelstein speaks, the MMA world listens, mostly just because he usually has a lot of bizarre demands to make.
In a recent interview the head of M-1 did with Russian sports news site Sports.ru, Finkelstein touched on a lot of topics including the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, Fedor’s contract status and his recent statement he made about mandatory drug testing in the later rounds of the tournament.
Check out what Vad-Fink had to say after the jump.
17 Jan 2011 16:35:56 PM
(Video courtesy of Comcast Sportsnet)
Shane Carwin appeared on Comcast Sportsnet’s Fight Fix recently to expound on the tidbit revealed by Fedor Emelianenko during the Strikeforce conference call last week that he was planning on training with the former UFC interim heavyweight champ in the near future. According to Carwin, his management reached out to the former PRIDE heavyweight champion to try to set up a pairing between the heavyweight superpowers.
Carwin explained that besides the obvious, the reason why he instigated talks with The Last Emperor’s camp were Fedor’s humility, faith in God and family values.
As far as his recovery from his neck injury, Carwin says that he is on track to get off the bench for a planned main event bout in June at UFC 131, but says that no opponent has been named as of the time of the interview.
Hopefully if he does ever end up training with Fedor for the bout, he records it so we can see how he fares.
14 Jan 2011 10:30:00 AM
("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.Read More DIGG THIS
11 Jan 2011 10:30:00 AM
(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.Read More DIGG THIS
10 Jan 2011 12:32:24 PM
(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)
10 Jan 2011 08:48:17 AM
(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."Read More DIGG THIS
9 Jan 2011 08:54:00 AM
(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.Read More DIGG THIS