Fedor Joins Strikeforce Heavyweight Tourney

Fedor has established himself as one of the most dominating fighters in the history of MMA (Photo by Esther Lin, Strikeforce).

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Emelianenko to Meet Antonio Silva at the IZOD Center in New Jersey

Mixed Martial Arts promotion Strikeforce has officially announced that Fedor Emelianenko (31-2, 1 NC) will face Antonio Silva (15-2) in the opening round of its World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament, which will be hosted at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, February 12th. Additionally, Strikeforce confirmed that it has reached a multi-year agreement with M-1 Global, in association with Showtime, to co-promote all events which feature Emelianenko.

"We are thrilled to have come to a long-term agreement with Fedor and M-1 Global,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated. “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."

The Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament will showcase eight of the top fighters in the weight division, and it will be a single-elimination competition over several events during 2011. In the co-feature of the upcoming New Jersey show, Andrei Arlovski (15-8) will meet Sergei Kharitonov (16-4) in a second quarterfinal pairing. The other opening round matches will pit current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem (34-11, 1 NC) against Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), and Brett Rogers (11-2) will meet Josh Barnett (29-5). The location and date for the second pair of quarterfinal fights is expected to be announced in the near future. Fights that feature Overeem, or anyone who happens to defeat him, will consist of five five-minute rounds, while all other bouts will consist of three five-minute frames.

“Showtime has enjoyed great success with its two most recent boxing tournaments, the Super Six World Boxing Classic and The Bantamweight Tournament,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports. “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.”

M-1 Global co-founder Vadim Finkelchtein was also very excited to enter into the multi-year agreement with Strikeforce and Showtime.

"I’m very pleased to be working with Showtime and Strikeforce, and Mr. Coker and Mr. Hershman personally,” he remarked. “Thanks to their interest and efforts, we’ve created what will go down in history as MMA’s greatest heavyweight tournament of all time. 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.”

Emelianenko is among the impressive list of fighters who are represented by M-1 Global. With offices literally based around the world, it has established itself as one of MMA’s most recognizable promotional companies.

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