Yesterday’s event featured two of four first-round bouts in Strikeforce’s heavily anticipated heavyweight tournament. Along with Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the main slot, the co-main event had former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski facing off against kickboxer Sergei Kharitonov. Given those names, you would think the outcomes would be obvious. It was a night of clearly drawn finishes and surprises.
Valentijn Overeem def. Ray Sefo via submission (neck crank), round one
Chad Griggs def. Gian Villante via TKO (punches), round one
Shane del Rosario def. Lavar Johnson via submission (armbar), round one
Sergei Kharitonov def. Andrei Arlovski via KO (punches), round one
Antonio Silva def. Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (eye swollen shut), round three
- That’s four L’s in a row for Andrei Arlovski. Three of those, including this one, were knockouts. He hasn’t won since shutting off Roy Nelson’s lights in 2008.
- Announcer Mauro Ranallo said Segei Kharitonov treated Arlovskski “like Christina Aguilera treated the national anthem.”
- It’s amazing how used to Fedor we are. Here we are, shocked that he lost to a gigantic man with gigantic reach and a, probably gigantic, black belt too. Fedor became a legend not just because of his skill, but because he applied it as a small pudgy guy in a big man’s division. Age catches up to you, but so do the odds.
- Loved the scramble for leg locks at the end of round two. Fedor couldn’t find the ankle lock at the end, but it was threatening enough that Silva lost his kneebar and went defensive, ending Bigfoot’s second round one-sided onslaught just before the bell.
- Afterwards, Fedor hinted at a possible retirement. Have we ever seen a great champion bow out gracefully at the right moment? Is this even the right moment? I don’t know. What I do know is I certainly wouldn’t want to see Fedor go the Sakuraba route.
- Fedor’s words: “Yes, maybe it’s the last time. Thanks god for everything. I spent a great, beautiful, long, sport life. Maybe it’s God’s will.”
- He’s on a horse: