Rundown of post-fight news and notes from last night’s Strikeforce ‘Fedor vs. Silva’ event…
— Attendance fell just short of reported estimates. Based on ticket sales, Strikeforce expected 12,000-15,000 fans to fill the IZOD Center last night, however the final number ended up being 11,287. Still, it was Strikeforce’s second best showing in their past 18 events which can only be considered a success.
— Following Antonio Silva’s stunning upset over Fedor Emelianenko last night, the big question is whether or not that was Fedor’s last fight. He hinted at the possibility in his post-fight interview with Gus Johnson.
“I want to thank for you for your support. Something was wrong from the beginning. I didn’t adjust. Maybe it is time to leave… Yes, maybe this is last time, maybe it’s high time. I had a great, beautiful sporting life. Thank God for everything. Maybe it’s God’s will.”
Time will tell if Fedor decides to call it a career, however the people around him including Strikeforce president Scott Coker and M-1 Global’s Vadim Finchelstein believe he will be back. In fact, Coker says Fedor could get back in the tournament if someone gets injured.
“Fedor always comes back in the third [round], but he didn’t get a chance to today,” Coker said during the post-fight press conference. “As far as a retirement, you know how that goes. People get very emotional during a fight and we’ll see. My position is we have many more fights with Fedor, and he’ll honor his contract.”
“Fedor could absolutely be a replacement [in the grand prix]. A committee will decide who will move forward [if a fighter is injured]. I’m not even on that committee. Fedor is definitely a possibility. It could be Fedor that goes in there, depending on what the committee decides,” said Coker. “He will be fighting some high-level competition. He’ll have some more fights before the end of the year.”
“When you have a tournament of this magnitude, new stars will be born. That’s what happens as this tournament unfolds,” said Coker. “I think Fedor still has a lot of fight left in him. He might be out for 16 months, but I think you’ll see Fedor back. But we’re going to have some amazing fights in this tournament. We just have to sit back and wait, but I feel very good about it.”
Meanwhile, Finchelstein says it will be up to Fedor but he will encourage him to continue fighting.
“Fedor is really, really upset, because he was really ready for this fight. Everyone saw how the fans greeted him. He’s had a wonderful career. I think that the stoppage isn’t such a clear-cut loss that he will stop. [I think] this loss will give him more strength to go on in the future.”
“The atmosphere in the changing room was pretty quiet. There wasn’t much said. It was tidying up, and then they went off to the hospital to make sure [Fedor’s] orbital bone wasn’t broken.”
“The decision is up to Fedor, but I think I know him quite well. I think that he’s still full of strength, and I think he will continue. The decision is up to him, but I would encourage him [to keep fighting], because I think he still has a lot to show his fans.”
M-1 Global has since issued a press release stating that Fedor will “announce his intentions in the near future.” They also claim the loss will have no impact on their business which I find very hard to believe.
In subsequent post-fight interviews, (Evgeni) Kogan was keenly optimistic regarding the future of M-1 Global. “Fedor is one the greatest fighters in MMA history and his legacy will always exist. Although his loss was unfortunate, it doesn’t affect our plans going forward; for M-1 Global’s day-to-day operations, it’s business as usual. We have a heavy schedule of events and significant announcements to make in the coming weeks. M-1 has over 80 fighters and Fedor is one of them. His legacy is helping the brand seek out and develop the next superstars of the sport.”
— Fedor was taken to the hospital following the fight to check to see if he had a broken orbital bone. No reports have surfaced saying it was broken, however the NJACB did put him on a indefinite medical suspension pending a CT scan of the head and facial bones.
Update on Fedor’s eye: Doctors have cleared Fedor. His orbital bone was not broken, just a badly swollen eye it seems. Evgeni Kogan says they expect to announce Fedor’s future in the next month or so.
“Fedor was checked last night and seemed fine this morning, in good spirits and walking around in sunglasses like a Hollywood star,” Kogan said.
“They’re going back to Russia tomorrow, and I think things should become clear over the next month or so about the future,” Kogan said.
— Antonio Silva was obviously in good spirits after the win. He said his performance proves “Superman doesn’t exist.”
“I’m very happy this night,” said Silva at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “Fedor is the best in the world to me. I’m a big fan. He has a big history. I trained too hard for this fight. For two months, I only eat, rest and train.
“I showed the world one more time that I come to not to play, but to fight. I want to be the best heavyweight in the world.”
“A lot of people see this chin, and it’s a punch absorber,” said Silva, who took Emelianenko’s back multiple times in the second period. “I trained a lot of jiu-jitsu [for this fight]. I still haven’t shown the world what I can do in jiu-jitsu. I put my game plan together and I used it.”
“When I [weighed] in, I was at 265. Tonight, I was at 285. He was at 230,” said Silva. “A lot of people say he has the strength of a bear, but I have the strength of a Bigfoot.”
“I’ve always said that Superman and Robocop don’t exist,” said Silva. “Werdum started it, and I finished proving it: Superman doesn’t exist.”
Silva is rooting for his friend and countryman Fabricio Werdum to win in the tournament, but that doesn’t mean he won’t fight him if he gets past Alistair Overeem.
“I don’t pick opponents; I’ll fight anyone,” Silva said through manager and translator Alex Davis. “Werdum is my friend. He’s a Brazilian. I’m rooting for him. That way, the finals would be all Brazilians.”
By all accounts, Silva outweighed Fedor by 55 lbs. when they stepped in the cage last night. Fedor has fought and defeated plenty of bigger, stronger men in his career, but coupled with Silva’s ground skill, it was just too much for Fedor to overcome.
— Gina Carano announced her return to Strikeforce and mixed martial arts during last night’s broadcast. She didn’t specify when that would be, only saying that she has returned to training, however Scott Coker said they are targeting a possible June card headlined by a welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Paul Daley for her return.
— Surprisingly, the Overeem brothers said they would fight each other in the tournament if that’s what it comes to.
“Tournament-wise? Yes. Separate fight? No,” Alistair Overeem said when asked if he would fight his brother. “In a tournament, obviously you advance, so in a tournament fashion we would fight each other.”
“If i get thrown into the tournament, which I hope I do, and I win and he wins, it’s inevitable I guess,” Valentijn said.
“I’m a pro,” said Alistair, who is 34-11 with 1 no contest. “If I’m in the cage or ring, I fight. Like my brother said, it’s far away, but we’re professionals. People want to see that fight, and they pay money for a ticket, we’ll give them what they want. We fight every day in the gym, and he kicked my a– more than several times.”
“A long time ago,” Valentijn said with a smile.
The chances of that happening are pretty slim though. Coker said they would use that fight as a “last resort,” and with several other alternates waiting in the wings, it would be highly unlikely.
— Scott Coker says tournament reserve winners Shane Del Rosario and Chad Griggs have graduated from the Challenger series and been promoted to their major Arena series cards.