Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament
June 19, 2011 by staff
Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament, When the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix was first announced earlier this year, a strong argument could be that the winner of the tournament will not only be the heavyweight champion of MMA linear, but also the best fighter in the heavy world. Now that the first round is completed, fans can take comfort in knowing that the best heavyweights in the world are fighting in the UFC Octagon, not in the Showtime Strikeforce.
The four winners of the first round – Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, Sergei Kharitonov – are a formidable team, but there is little reason to believe that any of them would be an insurmountable obstacle to Cain Velasquez or Junior dos Santos, the part top two heavyweights in the UFC.
Overeem brought the most hype in the tournament after winning the kickboxing is the most prestigious title, the K-1 heavyweight tournament in 2010. He boasted before his fight with Fabricio Werdum in the tournament that the difference between losing to Overeem Werdum in 2007 and Overeem today was “40 pounds of muscle pain in the ass.” Despite his talk, most just seemed extra slow. By the third round, a gas chamber was formed Overeem being in the guard of a gassed Werdum, leaving the fans that wanted a dramatic blow out frustrated and disappointed.
Against the likes of Vel? Zquez and dos Santos, Overeem need the cardio to go at least three rounds standing and fighting. Overeem may have added a lot of raw power, but that kind of muscle burns as Charlie Sheen oxygen burns bridges. It’s pretty easy to imagine either Cain or dos Santos dragged out to sea, and picking it apart in the later rounds.
Barnett won his first round fight against Brett Rogers decisively through the second round submission, but still drew boos from the crowd for their methodical approach. Barnett seemed competent on his feet and is undoubtedly a master of the grappling arts, but anyone could outstrike JDS Velazquez and avoid the fight going to the plant.
Sergei Kharitonov Antonio Silva and the two men who have been waiting since February Overeem and Barnett are not taking the UFC heavyweights or nightmares. Silva looked impressive abuse and beatings by the vaunted Fedor Emelianenko, but not much time has passed since the tournament was beaten loser Fabricio Werdum. Both Velasquez and dos Santos could have a significant speed advantage over the Brazilian giant and should have no trouble keeping the fight on the feet.
For his part, Kharitonov looked excellent in the brutal dismantling of former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski, but Arlovski was undone by a weak chin and bad mechanics for a long time. If you manage to take the tournament title, Kharitonov present an interesting set of challenges for the UFC champion. His punches can dos Santos is set, but I doubt I could keep the fight standing against Cain Velasquez.
Due to scheduling difficulties, Strikeforce will not end its heavyweight tournament until early 2012. At the moment there is little reason to think the best heavyweight MMA fight is anywhere but inside the UFC octagon.
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