Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” took place earlier this evening at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In the night’s main event, Fedor Emelianenko squared off against Antonio Silva in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Andrei Arlovski took on Sergei Kharitonov in the other grand prix quarterfinal bout.
Shane Del Rosario met Lavar Johnson in a GP reserve bout.
Valentijn Overeem took on Ray Sefo in another GP reserve bout.
Chad Griggs met Gian Villante in the final GP reserve bout.
Results and thoughts after the jump.
- Antonio Silva defeats Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage – Eye Swollen Shut) at the end of Round Two
- Sergei Kharitonov defeats Andrei Arlovski via Knockout in Round One
- Shane Del Rosario defeats Lavar Johnson via Submission (Armbar) in Round One
- Chad Griggs defeats Gian Villante via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- Valentijn Overeem defeats Ray Sefo via Submission (Neck Crank) in Round One
- John Cholish defeats Marc Stevens via Submission (Kneebar) in Round Two
- Igor Gracie defeats John Salgado via Submission (Arm-Triangle) in Round Two
- Sam Oropeza defeats Don Carlo-Clauss via Submission (Strikes) in Round One
- Josh LaBerge defeats Anthony Leone via TKO (Cut) in Round One
- Jason McLean defeats Kevin Roddy via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Valentijn Overeem vs. Ray Sefo: It didn’t take long for Valentijn Overeem to take care of business against Ray Sefo. After exchanging a few punches and kicks, Overeem shot in with a single-leg takedown, put Sefo on his back and immediately locked in a neck crank that forced the K-1 veteran to tap.
Chad Griggs vs. Gian Villante: Chad Griggs and Gian Villante came to fight tonight, wow. These two went at it the moment the opening bell rang and it quickly turned into a brawl. Both landed big shots, but Chad Griggs was the one who landed the kill shot late in the first round. Fun fight.
Shane Del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson: Shane Del Rosario and Lavar Johnson came out of the gate throwing big kicks and haymakers, but this fight didn’t end in a knockout as the fighters promised. About halfway through the first, Del Rosario decided he had enough on the feet and took Johnson down. He immediately transitioned into mount and pounded on Johnson who appeared to have no idea how to escape. As the clock winded down though, it looked like Johnson was going to survive the round, but Del Rosario had other ideas. He snatched up one of Johnson’s extended arms and secured a fighting-ending armbar and the first alternate spot in the GP.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov: Andrei Arlovski’s chin failed him again. Arlovski looked as sharp as we’ve seen him since the opening minutes of the Fedor fight. Problem was he let Kharitonov back him up against the cage the entire fight. Arlovski had nowhere to go but left or right and it eventually caught up with him. Kharitonov waded through Arlovski’s strikes looking for his opening and found it. Sergei landed a series of uppercuts in the clinch, backed away, clipped Arlovski with a countershot and dropped him with a barrage of punches. Sergei landed a couple more on the way down, knocking The Pitbull stiff and unconscious.
Special Announcement: A cageside Gina Carano announces her return to MMA. She didn’t have much to say about it, but says she’s doing it for herself.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva: Antonio Silva may have just retired Fedor Emelianenko. Most people, including myself, thought Fedor would walk through Silva without too much trouble but that wasn’t the case at all. The first round was very competitive. Fedor came out swinging but failed to catch Silva clean enough to hurt him. Silva failed to land anything substantial too, but the fruit was there for the picking as Fedor’s hands were nowhere near his face to protect it from Silva’s giant lunchbox fists. Fedor eventually got Silva to his back after locking up a guillotine from the clinch against the cage. Fedor dived on top and worked for a kimura but Silva powered out of it and they returned to their feet. They exchanged more strikes against the cage and Silva closed out the round by dragging Fedor to the ground. It was a fairly close round, but it didn’t matter because what Silva did in the second round was the story of the fight. Silva immediately shot in for a takedown as the two met in the center of the cage. From there, it quickly became clear that Silva’s size was going to be a major problem for Fedor. Silva eventually worked his way to full mount and started dropping bombs. Fedor tried but couldn’t escape from the incredibly dangerous position due to Silva’s enormous size advantage. Fedor gave up his back on two occasions, but managed to fend off the rear-naked choke. After coming close but failing to get the stoppage with his ground and pound, Silva attempted an arm-triangle. He appeared to have it locked up with enough time on the clock to finish, but Fedor miraculously rolled out of it. They closed out the round trading leg locks, but the damage had been done. Fedor’s face was a mess and his right eye was swollen shut. As soon as the doctor saw it, he called it, awarding Silva the victory in the most anti-climatic fashion possible.
What came next though was heartbreaking for Fedor Emelianenko fans. In the post-fight interview, Fedor said something was wrong from the very beginning of the fight and he couldn’t readjust. Then he told the New Jersey crowd that “maybe it’s time to leave, maybe it’s God’s will,” alluding to a possible retirement from mixed martial arts. I hope that’s not the case, it would be a solemn ending to an illustrious career, but if Fedor feels it’s time to call it a career, I can certainly respect that decision. For someone as accomplished as him, there’s no sense continuing if his heart isn’t in it. We shall see.
Dana White’s reaction:
And here’s Sengoku threatening Dana:
Other notable tweets:
Live Gate & Attendance
Bonus and gate info via MMA Junkie