Video After The Jump
I have to give a lot of credit to the Strikeforce organization for putting on a heavyweight tournament.
The tournaments are MMA fan favorites because of their unpredictable nature and because you are almost always assured of a couple of big named opponents fighting each other. That's one of the reasons Japan's Pride was very popular with American fans before they were bought out by the UFC.
Last night we saw two really good fights and one surprising upset.
The big upset involved Russia's Fedor Emelianenko who took on Brazil's Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Fedor was outweighed by 35-40 pounds, but size difference had never been that big of a problem before as he built a (31-2, 1 NC) record coming into the bout. Silva's MMA record was (15-2).
The fight was all out action from the opening bell as Fedor was aggressive as usual, landing several power shots. Silva attempted to wear his smaller opponent down by leaning on him against the cage, but without much effect.
Round 1 goes to Fedor on 2 judges cards and to Silva by 1 judge.
The second round starts with Silva making an adjustment that would prove to be the demise of Fedor.
Silva immediately takes Fedor to the ground where Fedor just could not deal with him.
Silva beat him up in several different ways. He mounted Fedor and rained down punches, which forced Fedor to flip onto his stomach, giving up his back to the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt who tried to submit him by rear-naked choke. This sequence of events happened several times.
Silva then tried a side-choke, but Fedor fought his way out of it. Then Silva went for a knee bar in the final seconds of the round as Fedor tried an ankle lock. Neither was effective as the round ended.
At the end of the round, Fedor's face was a bloody, swollen mess. With his right eye completely shut, the fight was stopped and Silva was declared the winner by TKO.
As a sign of respect to one of the best MMA fighters ever, Silva bowed at Fedor's feet.
Fedor took the loss hard, and talked about possibly retiring from the sport. It was his 2nd loss in a row. He lost by submission to Fabricio Werdum last year.
“Thank you very much for the support. And what happen, maybe I didn’t manage to re-adjust myself and something went wrong from the very beginning and I didn’t re-adjust myself. Maybe it’s the time to leave," Fedor said. “Yes, maybe this is last time, maybe it’s high time [to retire]. Thank God for everything. I [had] a great, beautiful sporting life. Maybe it’s God will."
In the other tournament fight Sergei Kharitonov knocked out former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski in the 1st round.
The second bracket of the tournament kicks off in April with Brett Rogers facing Josh Barnett and Fabricio Werdum taking on Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.