The Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix may be the most exciting thing in MMA in quite some time and it starts this Saturday. I would be attending the event in person and I am super, super psyched!! This card has everything from an emperor to a grave digger and from a Bigfoot to a Sugarfoot (whatever that is). What is also pretty cool is that 7 countries would be represented, making this truly a World Grand Prix. Oh also check out my pics and scans from the Strikeforce Fan Experience this Tuesday.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Antonio Silva
Fedor Emelianenko by Submission in the Third
Fedor is often regarded as the GOAT (greatest of all time) but he is looking more vulnerable than ever after his first “loss” when he got caught in a now infamous Fabricio Werdum triangle, arm bar combo. Still this has to be Fedor’s fight to lose. What Bigfoot has is size but Fedor has beaten fighters as large if not larger than him in the past. To be fair, Bigfoot is a lot more skilled than the giants Fedor as faced before. Still I foresee Bigfoot taking a lot of damage the first two rounds absorbed mostly in that huge chin of his and gassing out going into the third. Fedor would take him down using his crazy sambo expertise and finally finish him with a slick submission.
Andrei Arlovski vs Sergei Kharitonov
Sergei Kharitonov by Knockout in the Second
A lot of hardcore MMA fans have Sergei Kharitonov as the darkhorse to win the Grand Prix. I am not so confident. He has beaten Overeem and Werdum before but that seems so long ago. Andrei Arlovski isn’t doing so good himself lately, losing 3 straight and funny enough his three losses all come against fellow tournament contestants Fedor, Brett Rogers and Bigfoot.
I am picking Arlovski for old time sakes but I really don’t think he is going too far in the tourney. You know what I change my mind. I have a bad feeling about Arlovski.
Shane Del Rosario vs Lavar Johnson
Shane Del Rosario by Knockout in the First
This bout matches up Strikeforce two best Heavyweight up and comers and it is for the first alternate spot in the tournament, which is going to be important because you just know something will come up. Both fighters have been stuck in Strikeforce Challengers matches and they were against low tier opponents so I don’t really know what to expect in their first big step up. But when in doubt you got to go with the hype, right? And there is way more hype for Shane Del Rosario than Lavar Johnson and from past fights Johnson may gas out way before Del Rosario. This has the potential to be an exciting fight. We’ll see.
Chad Griggs vs Gianpiero Villante
Gianpiero Villante by Knockout in the First
This is a bit of a who cares fight. I honestly never heard of Gianpiero Villante and Chad Griggs is best known for beating Bobby Lashley (and of course his sideburns) so my prediction is a total guess but I am going with the Gianpiero Villante, who I guess can be considered the hometown hero.
Valentijn Overeem vs Ray Sefo
Ray Sefo by Knockout in the Second
The only thing that would make this card even better is if Alistair Overeem fought in it too but I guess we have to settle for his brother Valentijn Overeem who not nearly as accomplished. I mean V. Overeem has a very iffy 28-25 record and Ray Sefo is a veteran K-1 kickboxer who has only two MMA bouts under his belt. Overeem may very well take Sefo down and control him but I am going with the kickboxer here.
Strikeforce is real prime to take over what Pride once was especially if FEG falls and the deal with Japan works out. Good for them. Oh for the record, as I said before I may be drinking the Kool Aid but I have Overeem winning the Grand Prix.