Strikeforce HW tournament bracket unveiled

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AchillesHeel
1/5/11 9:14:47AM
Strikeforce tournament bracket unveiled

By Josh Gross
ESPN.com
Updated: January 4, 2011, 10:05 PM ET

Following months of speculation, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker's desire to promote a single-elimination heavyweight tournament in 2011 has come to fruition. Showtime, which expects to televise each of the event's three legs, revealed opening-round matches and the tournament bracket Tuesday.

"It's a long, grueling process as we know with these tournaments, and whoever comes out on top will be the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion," said Ken Hershman, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports.

Beginning Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., four of the eight fighters signed up for the main draw will compete in first-round matchups.

Fedor Emelianenko (31-2) fights Antonio Silva (15-2) and Andrei Arlovski (15-8) is matched against Sergei Kharitonov (16-4).

The remaining quarterfinal fights will likely take place in April, Showtime and Strikeforce officials said. The event's date and location are yet to be determined. Current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (33-11) will meet Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), and Brett Rogers (11-2) tangles with Josh Barnett (29-5).

(Cont.)

Pookie
1/5/11 9:21:38AM
AchillesHeel
1/5/11 9:29:18AM
EDIT: Moved graphic to 1st post.
SmileR
1/5/11 9:31:25AM

Posted by Pookie



BigIP
1/5/11 9:33:42AM
Not sure I understand why the brackets are setup this way. But if Fedor beats Silva and then the winner of Overeem/Werdum I see him retiring and not fighting anymore.
AchillesHeel
1/5/11 9:44:55AM

Posted by BigIP

Not sure I understand why the brackets are setup this way.


Since people have been clamoring for Fedor-Overeem, and since Fedor probably wouldn't mind a rematch with Werdum, I can see them setting it up this way.


Posted by BigIP

But if Fedor beats Silva and then the winner of Overeem/Werdum I see him retiring and not fighting anymore.


He signed a four-fight contract.
postman
1/5/11 9:47:02AM
They will not get through this it will be a bigger pain in the ass then the Super six yeat Showtime seems to have learned nothing from the super 6. Not to mention the left side is stacked and the right side is much softer?
AchillesHeel
1/5/11 9:55:03AM

Posted by AchillesHeel


Posted by BigIP

Not sure I understand why the brackets are setup this way.


Since people have been clamoring for Fedor-Overeem, and since Fedor probably wouldn't mind a rematch with Werdum, I can see them setting it up this way.


Also because Fedor and Overeem have already beaten Rogers, and Fedor and Silva have already beaten Arlovski. Barnett hasn't fought any of these guys before, but I don't object to them "seeding" him opposite Fedor and Overeem. I might have swapped Overeem and Kharitonov myself, to give Werdum that rematch (I'm assuming Werdum wants that rematch, of course), but I don't really mind it this way, either.
icantthinkofanything
1/5/11 10:02:36AM
Werdum vs Overeem is good, they are such opposite fighters, in this fight its def. striker vs grappler, maybe Werdum can get a takedown or pull guard, but I don't know how much improved Overeem is since the first fight, all I know is Overeem looks really good these days.
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hate4thestate
1/5/11 10:45:51AM
This is the greatest thing ever. PRIDE NEVER DIE!
Bubbles
1/5/11 11:28:15AM
here is why i think the bracket is set up this way:

Werdum vs Overeem is sort of like a title fight as Werdum is the current #1 contender. Fedor vs Bigfoot is seen as the next title contender fight. if Fedor wins this, he will either get his rematch with Werdum or the fight we all have been waiting for vs Overeem. if Bigfoot wins, then he is on a 3 fight win streak and is the only one who has deserved the shot.

the other side of the bracket is to determine the next title contender. the winner will be on a 2 fight win streak within the promotion against credible competition and would deserve to get the next title shot.

my picks:
Fedor over Bigfoot
Overeem over Werdum
Barnett over Rogers
Kharitonov over AA (though i will be rooting for AA)

Fedor over Overeem
Barnett over Kharitonov

Fedor over Barnett
mattjonesy
1/5/11 11:47:19AM
This is pretty sweet , Overeems chance to prove that he is one of the top heavweights in the world. Im going for a Barnett Overeem final!
gartface
1/5/11 11:48:42AM
Why can't this be a PRIDE style one night tourney?
JoeWarren33
1/5/11 12:18:09PM
This is awsome!!
Wish it could of been 16 man tourny, but this will do rather then nothing!


I hope we get more of this from Strikeforce! Coker came through.....finally!
Boo_Radley21
1/5/11 12:33:35PM
This is a really awesome idea. I have a feeling it mght fall through but if not props to Strikeforce this is rad
prozacnation1978
1/5/11 12:45:03PM
Wow what greatmatches. Even the reserve match between del rosario and johnson is good

Only problem I have is why fedor werdum and overeem are all on same side of bracket??
pmoney
1/5/11 1:03:51PM

Posted by prozacnation1978

Wow what greatmatches. Even the reserve match between del rosario and johnson is good

Only problem I have is why fedor werdum and overeem are all on same side of bracket??



I would like to see Overeem and Fedor on opposite sides of the bracket. If they met in the semi's that could potentially lead to an anti-climactic final.

I also agree with Gartface. This should be held on one night. I am sure if they did it one night PPV style they would get some good buys. I just think that if it takes place over several weeks or months, it doesn't have that true tournament feel.
lohmann
1/5/11 1:36:16PM
Fedor, Silva, Werdum, and Overeem are the most highly-ranked heavyweights Strikeforce have at the moment, and each should probably be in a fight with one of the others in the opening round. Silva and Overeem should be in one bracket and Fedor and Werdum the other in order to come to a main event that will, in all likelihood, not be a rehash or a mismatch.
Bloodhound
1/5/11 2:14:41PM
i'm pumped for this cant wait, I personally would have liked the bracket set up different but hey I cant complain about a stacked 8 man HW Tournament.
Pookie
1/5/11 4:00:16PM
Im actually liking the match-ups that can happen in the other bracket.

Barnett v. Arlovski
Kharitonov v. Rogers
Arlovski v. Rogers 2
Barnett v. Kharitonov

Every one of those is interesting.
machodog76
1/5/11 4:09:58PM
Most sanctioning bodies will only let a fighter fight a set number of minutes in one night (I think it's 25 minutes) making a one night tournament next to impossible in the US. Also I don't remember Pride doing 1 night tournaments. I think they did the semis and finals in the same night for the GPs but not 3 fights in one night, but I can't remember for sure maybe in the 2000 GP?
FastKnockout
1/5/11 4:46:02PM
Scott Coker was just on Sherdog Radio. The finals and semi-finals could possibly be on PPV, and he didn't rule out of the possibility of the tournament going to Japan.
Franklinfan47
1/5/11 6:29:08PM

Posted by prozacnation1978

Wow what greatmatches. Even the reserve match between del rosario and johnson is good

Only problem I have is why fedor werdum and overeem are all on same side of bracket??



I bet it had something to do with the contract Fedor and M-1 took a year to re-negotiate with SF. M-1 said outright they only wanted Werdum or Overeem for Fedor, and a win over Bigfoot gaurantees that for the semi-finals. Contract comprimise imo.

On a side note, its not often you see tournaments like this in the US. Very exciting Im so used to stupid business choices by Sf that this one took me by surprise.
finnish_line
1/6/11 9:48:05AM

So if Werdum beats Overeem, is Werdum the new champ?

Or is the belt being held up for the winner of the whole thing?
cowcatcher
1/6/11 9:55:14AM

Posted by finnish_line


So if Werdum beats Overeem, is Werdum the new champ?

Or is the belt being held up for the winner of the whole thing?



From what I read yesterday, Coker said he's working on making it for the belt and should have it figured out within 24 hours, but they have to get all the states where they are holding the fights athletic commissions on board to make all of these 5 round fights. If that happens then I think it's fair to assume that the title will be on the line all the way throughout the tournament, which makes the way the brackets are set up make a ton of sense. You've got your #1 contender(Werdum since he beat Fedor) fighting for the belt, and Fedpr/Silva is for the next title shot. Out of the other side of the bracket a new title contender then emerges for the tournament final. I'm hoping they can get everyone on board with this and have all tourney fights be 5 rounders, but I won't hold my breath, state AC's don't operate on logic.
BigIP
1/6/11 11:56:29AM

Posted by cowcatcher


Posted by finnish_line


So if Werdum beats Overeem, is Werdum the new champ?

Or is the belt being held up for the winner of the whole thing?



From what I read yesterday, Coker said he's working on making it for the belt and should have it figured out within 24 hours, but they have to get all the states where they are holding the fights athletic commissions on board to make all of these 5 round fights. If that happens then I think it's fair to assume that the title will be on the line all the way throughout the tournament, which makes the way the brackets are set up make a ton of sense. You've got your #1 contender(Werdum since he beat Fedor) fighting for the belt, and Fedpr/Silva is for the next title shot. Out of the other side of the bracket a new title contender then emerges for the tournament final. I'm hoping they can get everyone on board with this and have all tourney fights be 5 rounders, but I won't hold my breath, state AC's don't operate on logic.



That makes sense, except only title fights should be 5 rounds. All other fights should be 3.
cowcatcher
1/6/11 12:03:41PM
I think for the sake of continuity throughout the tourney they want to make them all 5 rounds, and that makes sense to me. I'm just glad we are getting to see some really great HW matchups, they haven't always been easy to come by in MMA.
Boo_Radley21
1/6/11 12:18:41PM
A Fedor vs Rogers 2 final would be awesome or Fedor vs Barnett. I'm looking forward to it. I don't think Werdum will beat Overeem and Overeem vs Fedor is close to call too, so I can't wait to watch this. The UFC should take a lesson from this and hold 8 man tournaments like this in divisions where there isn't really a clear cut number one contender. Most divisions have that situation facing them or coming up. They should make it happen.
SamPan
1/6/11 12:24:25PM
I see Overeem winning this. I think he's just too powerful for anyone in Strikeforce right now, including Fedor.
cowcatcher
1/6/11 12:25:52PM
Would a Fedor/Barnett final bring down SF since every real fan knows that whenever this fight is made the Illuminati destroys the organization that tried to make it happen?
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