Alistair Overeem. Photo courtesy of Showtime Sports.
The semifinal round of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix tournament will reportedly take place at a yet-to-be-named location on September 10.
A pair of matchups pitting Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Josh Barnett against Sergei Kharitonov are what remain of the eight-man field.
According to MMAJunkie.com, four other bouts are also rumored for the card, including a Strikeforce middleweight title defense between champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Luke Rockhold as well as the promotional debut of Maximo Blanco, who will face Josh Thomson.
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.
Half of the quarterfinals of Strikeforce's first-ever heavyweight grand prix tournament are now complete with Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Sergei Kharitonov moving on after pulling off a pair of memorable upsets.
Shane del Rosario, Chad Griggs and Valentijn Overeem also won a trio of reserve bouts, placing themselves as the frontrunners in case someone in the eight-man (now six-man) field is unable to compete.
After the jump are video interviews featuring four of the aforementioned fighters: Silva, Kharitonov, del Rosario and Overeem.
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
"The Last Emperor" fell again.
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva battered Fedor Emelianenko and forced the former PRIDE heavyweight champion's right eye to swell shut, prompting a doctor's stoppage following the second round of their featured attraction at Strikeforce's "Fedor vs. Silva" event on Saturday at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
"I trained very hard for this fight," Silva, who advances to the second leg of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix, said afterwards. "People are always saying 'Fedor, Fedor, Fedor'. I trained too hard and I showed it to the world. I won over the best heavyweight in the world."
“Kid” Yamamoto. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
DREAM parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group today revealed the promotion’s schedule for the new year, with DREAM’s first show being held on March 8 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and featuring the opening rounds of the organization’s inaugural featherweight and welterweight grand prix tournaments.
In total, DREAM will put on seven total shows in ‘09. Solidified dates for shows include April 5 at Nippon Gaishi Hall and December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena for the annual year-end K-1 Dynamite show. DREAM officials are also planning to hold shows in May, July, September, and October.
Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
We will be going live at 3:00 AM ET with live results of this morning’s DREAM.6 event, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet. A replay of the show will air at 4:00 PM ET later today.
DREAM.6 will feature the final round of the promotion’s inaugural grand prix. Melvin Manhoef will take on Gegard Mousasi and Zelg Galesic will face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza with the two winners meeting in the show’s finale. Mirko Filipovic and Alistair Overeem will meet in an anticipated grudge match that will serve as the co-main event.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Mirko Filipovic. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Fight Entertainment Group has announced three more bouts for DREAM.6, which will take place on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The most high profile fight made official today was a previously rumored bout between former PRIDE standout Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
Overeem has long believed that Filipovic had been ducking a potential showdown with him for years. However will now get his wish against a fellow dangerous kickboxer.
Filipovic left the Ultimate Fighting Championship following a disappointing 1-2 stint in the organization, where he was defeated by Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo in consecutive fights. He bounced back to earn a first-round TKO of Tatsuya Mizuno at DREAM.1 in March.
Tim Sylvia. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Jerome LeBanner has been chasing Tim Sylvia for years, trying to get him to fight. He might be getting his wish.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio has told MMANews.com that the promotion is looking at LeBanner, a K-1 kickboxer, as a potential opponent for Sylvia for their planned third show that would likely take place in either January or February of next year.
“In terms of fighters we are looking at Jerome LeBanner,” Atencio said. “He is interested in doing MMA and apparently him and Tim Sylvia have some history between them so that is something that we are looking at right now. We are taking things one step at a time but we will see where it all goes.”
Another K-1 promoted fighter Atencio and company are apparently looking at is former PRIDE standout Sergei Kharitonov, whom Atencio “loves” from his days fighting in Japan.
Sergei Kharitonov will return to action against “Mighty Mo” Siala Siliga at K-1 Premium Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve.
Kharitonov confirmed the bout on his official website this week. The Russian heavyweight is undefeated so far in 2007, submitting Michael Russow at PRIDE 33 in February and stopping Alistair Overeem with strikes at K-1 Hero’s 11 in September.
Like his counterpart, Siliga is also 2-0 this year. “Mighty Mo” picked up impressive victories over Min Soo Kim and Ruben Villareal at separate K-1 events.
A news filled Coffee and Kick Ass today folks…
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Mark Cuban will be holding a press conference and conference call concerning his new HDNet Fights venture. We will have a full report later today.
- If you haven’t already, please check out Randy Couture’s signed gloves from UFC 74 that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. Bidding ends on Thursday night.
- K-1 Hero’s parent company FEG announced a rematch between PRIDE veterans Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem at the K-1 Hero’s show taking place on September 17th.
- Duane Ludwig will now face Mario Stapel at this Saturday’s Ring of Fire event after his original opponent, Dragan Baklua, broke his hand during a recent training session. Despite all of this, Ludwig has trained hard and is ready to face whomever is standing in front of him:
“I was getting ready to face a stand up guy, but Mario is much more well rounded,” stated Ludwig. “He is more of a true MMA fighter. I changed my game plan accordingly. For this fight, I tightened up my game by training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. The training was great and I feel prepared for whatever happens. I love fighting at home and can’t wait for Saturday.”
- Jeff Monson, Matt Horwich, and Tara LaRosa all won medals in last weekend’s World Grappling Championships in Turkey.
- Spike TV announced yesterday that UFC 75 was the most watched MMA event in the history of North America:
UFC 75 was the most watched mixed martial arts event ever in North America, drawing 4.7 million viewers, Spike TV officials said in a news release Tuesday.
The Sept. 8 event from the O2 Arena in London, England, featured UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson’s win over PRIDE champ Dan Henderson in a title unification bout. Airing delayed on Spike, the telecast peaked at 5.6 million viewers during Jackson’s battle against Henderson. The show’s ratings were particularly strong among men age 18-34 and men 18-49. For those audiences, UFC 75 beat everything on television, Spike officials said, including ABC’s NASCAR race and Michigan vs. Oregon college football game, as well as ESPN’s Virginia Tech vs. LSU and Notre Dame vs. Penn St. games.
Spike TV said its telecast of UFC 75 had an overall rating of 3.1 (3.0 million homes), including a 5.7 rating for men 18-34 (1.6 million), 4.5 for men 18-49 (2.5 million) and 6.2 for men 25-34 (1.0 million).
- The Honolulu Star Bulletin is reporting that Justin McCully has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Christian Wellisch for undisclosed reasons. Wellisch will now face Scott Junk”
Kailua’s Scott Junk will make his UFC debut Sept. 22 against Christian Wellisch in a heavyweight fight at UFC 76: Knockout in Anaheim, Calif.
“It’s 100 percent going to happen,” Junk said. Wellisch (8-2) was originally scheduled to face Justin McCully.
Junk was notified about the fight yesterday, just 11 days before the event. He has put together six consecutive wins, including a TKO victory over Jimmy Ambriz back in June.
“It caught me off guard, but it’s good because I have been training this whole time,” Junk said.
Touch of gloves to UFC Mania for finding that interesting piece.
- The Governor of Illinois has signed legislation that will legalize MMA starting in 2008
- Michael Bisping’s father was apparently attacked in the parking lot of the O2 arena after the event.
Hat tip to Fight Opinion for that one.
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting via Tagg Radio that Gilbert Melendez will be taking on Shooto’s Tetsuji Kato at Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event on September 29th.
News and Notes
- Sherdog is reporting that Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and HDNet, is currently in discussions with officials connected to Fedor Emelianenko about signing the heavyweight free agent:
“I am in ongoing discussions with some of his people,” Cuban revealed in an e-mail interview that will be published on Sherdog.com later this week.
Cuban plans on possibly using Fedor in many of the MMA promotions he currently broadcasts events for on HDNet:
“We would work with his promoters to place him in fights from affiliated promoters or in fights we promote ourselves,” said Cuban, who plans on partnering with established MMA organizations to fill the weekly quota of bouts HDNet would need for its successful Friday Fight Night series.
- Sergei Kharitonov’s contract with K-1 states that he will be able to compete in both K-1 kickboxing matches and Hero’s MMA bouts.
- Masakazu Imanari and Zelg Galesic have both been removed from the Cage Rage 23 card set to take place on September 22nd.
Imanari was forced to pull out after suffering a shoulder injury during a recent training session. He will be replaced by Chris Brennan. Galesic pulled out of his bout after signing a new contract with K-1. Matt Ewin will be taking his place against Alex Reid. The bout will still be a title fight while Brennan-Silva will now take place at 155 lbs.
- The scheduled preliminary bout between Nate Quarry and Pete Sell at UFC Fight Night 11 has now been moved to the televised portion of the event after Mike Swick was forced to bow out of the event due to injury. Swick’s scheduled opponent, Jonathan Goulet and his fight against new opponent Dustin Hazelett, has now been changed to a prelim fight.