Strikeforce Makes Huge Announcement - Heavyweight 8 Man Tourney

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It is exciting to hear something coming from somewhere else other than the UFC headquarters in Las Vegas.  Strikeforce made a huge announcement.  They will be starting an 8 man heavyweight tournament this year.  Besides offering a more competitive twist on a heavyweight line-up for the sport of MMA - they also announced that Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem will be in the bracket.  

These two heavyweight giants will begin at opposite ends of the bracket which will help to build excitement and anticipation for the MMA fans to see what happens in the finals.  Similar to watching two of the best seated teams in the NCAA make their way closer to a riveting  showdown and usually the game with the highest ratings.

Feb 12 will kick things off - at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ

THIS IS AWESOME!

Fedor Emelianenko vs Antonio SIlva

Andrei Arlovski vs Sergei Kharitonov

April Bout, Venue TBA

Alistair Overeem vs Fabricio Werdum

Brett Rodgers vs Josh Barnett  

My prediction is the Russians, Arlovski and Emelianenko will meet again and the winner will take on who's left conscious from the roid rage battle between Overeem and Barnett.  

(photo from flickr)

PRESS RELEASE QUOTES AND DETAILS

"We are thrilled to have come to a long-term agreement with Fedor and M-1 GLOBAL," said STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker. "To have the greatest MMA fighter of all-time put his legacy on the line in a single-elimination tournament will truly captivate MMA fans worldwide. STRIKEFORCE is home to the best heavyweight division in the world; the athlete who runs the gauntlet in a tournament such as this would have to be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world."

"I'm very pleased to be working with SHOWTIME and STRIKEFORCE and Mr. Coker and Mr. Hershman personally. Thanks to their interest and efforts, we've created what will go down in history as MMA's greatest heavyweight tournament of all time," said Vadim Finkelchtein, co-founder of M-1 Global. "M-1, STRIKEFORCE and SHOWTIME have built a partnership committed to the future growth of MMA--a sport where organizations represent a working collaborative that enable the best fighters in the world to fight each other. This agreement benefits everyone, especially the fans who'll see Fedor in action more often.

"With SHOWTIME's significance in the U.S. and M-1's development of the European and Asian MMA markets, the cooperation will also deliver a global roster of talented fighters to viewers," Finkelchtein continued. "During the coming year, we'll be showcasing spectacular Grand Prix events using the same M-1 Selection tournament format, a series of events generating enthusiastic spectator interest keeping fans glued to their screens."

"I can't think of a better way to start 2011 than with this major announcement," said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports®. "Fedor is universally known to sports fans throughout the world and it is an honor to continue our work with M-1 GLOBAL and STRIKEFORCE in presenting this legendary fighter to SHOWTIME subscribers. 

"SHOWTIME has enjoyed great success with its two most recent boxing tournaments--the Super Six World Boxing Classic and The Bantamweight Tournament," Hershman continued. "And now, with the breadth of talent in the STRIKEFORCE heavyweight division, we have the privilege of staging one of the biggest tournaments in the history of this growing sport.  With the STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix's single-elimination format and the biggest names in the sport today, this tournament is something that no sports fan will want to miss."

"I have been training very hard since my last fight and can't wait to get back in the cage," said the 6-foot, 235-pound Emelianenko, who hails from Stary Oskol, Russia and is promoted by M-1 GLOBAL.  "STRIKEFORCE has assembled a roster filled with the best heavyweights in the world and, together with M-1 GLOBAL, we have the opportunity to fight the best in a great tournament format."

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