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Fedor-Bigfoot, Barnett-Arlovski & Werdum-Rogers In The Works For Strikeforce HWGP Opening Round (Update)

A rumored heavyweight bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Silva is going to happen on Feb 12, according to Sherdog. The fight will serve as a quarterfinal match-up in Strikeforce’s rumored 8-man heavyweight tournament. The report also states that another quarterfinal match-up between Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski is in the works. That of course makes the really bold assumption that the NJACB will let Barnett fight while his situation with the CSAC remains unresolved.

Fedor Emelianenko will return to the Strikeforce cage on Feb. 12, as he takes on Antonio Silva in a heavyweight main event from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

Sources close to the negotiations informed Sunday evening of the event’s date and location.

A match between former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett is also said to be in the works for the February date. It remains to be seen how the New Jersey Athletic Control Board handles the licensing situation Barnett — who allegedly tested positive for a performance enhancing substance prior to a scheduled bout with Emelianenko in the summer of 2009 — is dealing with in California. His hearing before the California commission was pushed back at their Dec. 2 meeting.

It’s still not clear if M-1, Strikeforce and Showtime ever reached a deal to extend Fedor’s contract, but if he’s participating in a tournament it would only make sense that they have or will since he only has one fight left on his current contract.

As for the other half of the tournament, it’s believed that Fabricio Werdum will fight Brett Rogers on March 5 in Columbus, Ohio. The fourth quarterfinal match-up is also expected for that card, but the participants weren’t named. Alistair Overeem and Sergei Kharitonov were rumored in earlier reports, so it’s possible one or both would compete in that bout. Interestingly, Kharitonov was the last fighter to defeat Overeem in a mixed martial arts bout. He knocked him out in 2007. Of course, that was before Overeem metamorphosized into Ubereem.

Shane del Rosario, Lavar Johnson and Daniel Cormier are expected to compete in reserve bouts.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime

Update: Here’s the update on Fedor’s contract status and the Silva fight.

The bout, which was first reported by Sherdog, is the intended direction if Strikeforce and Emelianenko’s M-1 management agency can finalize a new deal.

A source in Emelianenko’s camp told MMA Fighting that it was likely that Emelianenko’s participation on the card would require that the deal be done by the end of this week, and that the two sides had several outstanding issues to deal with.

A source in Silva’s camp said he has already agreed to face Emelianenko.

Strikeforce director of communications Mike Afromowitz said simply, “Nothing confirmed yet.”

I feel like we’ve heard the same thing  at least 10 times in the last six months. This whole situation is getting so old.

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