The PRIDE Grand Prix Returns; I mean, STRIKEFORCE Tourney Announced

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Local MMA, Marketing, PR, Strikeforce

If I see the names Coleman, Cro Cop or the “Smashing Machine” himself, I’ll officially think I’ve traveled back in time.  A heavyweight tournament?  Has PRIDE returned? No, it is our dear friends at STRIKEFORCE.

Yup, you read that correctly, it’s finally official. After weeks of whispers and maybes STRIKEFORCE announced its plan to hold an  eight-man heavyweight tournament that includes Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski.

The opening fights for the tournament scheduled for Feb. 12 in East Rutherford, N.J. Match-ups include: Emelianenko against former EliteXC champion Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Arlovski against Sergei Kharitonov.  Other quarterfinal bouts slated for a future date: Werdum vs. Overeem and Barnett vs. Brett “The Grim” Rogers.

As I’ve written in the past, this is another miss in my eyes for STRIKEFORCE.  Rather than host a tournament of “new blood” or try to create a new breed of STRIKEFORCE heavyweights they are grabbing on to those the UFC let go. (Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these guys as fighters).  Instead of learning from what the UFC continues to do with TUF, which is farm new talent, they keep trying to grow their brand on existing fighters.  The mystique of Emelianenko is over.  Find the next “Emperor” – he or she will more likely to help you draw in fans that will stick around for years to come.

What do you think? Is this a tournament you’ll be glued to or would you prefer to see some new fighters enter the STRIKEFORCE cage?

  1. I think you are spot with your point about new blood. At the same time –


    It’s about time! I can’t wait to see this. Overeem will finally compete in Strikeforce after his ridiculously long stint as their non-existent champion. I’ll be pulling for Fabricio overall.

    Who is your pick?

  2. Ryan – Re: Overeem don’t get me started. He should have been stripped of his belt and an interim champion made ages ago.

    In terms of the tournament, I actually think if he comes in healthy and “clean” Barnett has a decent chance at this. Given the layoff he has had, he should be fresh. However, if you want to know how I want to win, I have to go with Arlovski. I’d like to see the real Pittbull back on top.

  3. […] The STRIKEFORCE heavyweight tournament began not with a bang, but a whimper.  Two of the “stars” that were supposed to climb the tournament fell and fell hard.  Fedor and Arlovski are now in the dreaded “Should I still fight?” conversation… This is yet another reason I constantly state the organization is better served growing young, new talent. […]

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