Press Release: Fedor falls to "Big Foot"
ANTONIO SILVA BEATS, PERHAPS RETIRES FEDOR EMELIANENKO TO ADVANCE IN STRIKEFORCE
WORLD GRAND PRIX HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT; KHARITONOV KNOCKS OUT ARLOVSKI TO MOVE ON
;11,287 ON HAND TO WITNESS WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN LAST FIGHT IN CAREER OF THE LEGENDARY MMA; FIGHTER; GINA CARANO IS COMING BACK TO MMA
Saturday, Feb. 12, Live on SHOWTIME® From IZOD Center, East Rutherford, N.J. Catch Replay on Wednesday, Feb. 16, on SHO EXTREME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Feb. 13, 2011) – At the finish,
even before the official announcement was rendered, Antonio “Big Foot’’ Silva walked across
the cage, got down on his knees and bowed at the feet of Fedor
“I told him he was No. 1, that he is still No. 1 and that he would always be No. 1,’’ Brazil’s Silva (16-2) said. “There will never be a fighter like him.’’
Silva, a near 5-1 underdog, turned the STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix – Heavyweight Tournament and the Mixed Martial Arts world upside down Saturday by scoring a second-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage) over the legendary Russian to advance to the next round of the tournament.
Also proceeding in the three-stage, single-elimination tournament was Russian Sergei Kharitonov (18-4), of Pattaya,Thailand, who won his United States debut with a brutal, 2:49, first-round knockout over former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski (15-9), of Chicago in their quarterfinal before 11,287 at IZOD Center live on SHOWTIME®.
After a close first round in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 Global main event, Silva dominated the second. At the conclusion of the round, Fedor’s face was swollen, badly bruised and he could not see out of his right eye. Moments later, the doctor halted the fight.
“I want to thank for you for your support,’’ said Fedor (31-3, 1 NC), a class act and sportsman win or lose. “Something was wrong from the beginning. I didn’t adjust. Maybe it is time to leave.’’
When pressed in the cage afterward by SHOWTIME announcer Gus Johnson whether this was indeed the last time he would fight, the revered Fedor said, “Yes, maybe this is last time, maybe it’s high time (to retire). I had a great, beautiful sporting life. Yes, maybe it’s time. Thank you very much for the support. Thank God for everything.’’
Silva showed little respect for the six-foot, 34-year-old Fedor during the fight, but he had nothing but praise afterward for a fighter once universally recognized as the baddest man on the planet, the biggest living legend in MMA and perhaps the greatest and most feared martial artist in history.
“He was a great, great champion. I hope he doesn’t retire,’’ said the 6-foot-4, 31-year-old Silva. “I got some
great advice from Fabricio Werdum, who forced Fedor to tap out last year. “The game plan was to take him down and ground and pound.’’
The Grand Prix will continue with two more two quarterfinal matchups on Saturday, April 9, when STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight World Champion Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem (34-11, 1 NC) faces the only man to tap out Fedor, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), and hard-hitting Brett “The Grim” Rogers (11-2) meets former UFC champion Josh Barnett (29-5).
An exciting evening that included an announcement by Gina Carano that she was returning to MMA began with ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. introducing all the tournament fighters, one by one, to the crowd. The fans roared as each came out, the cheers reaching a near-deafening crescendo when Fedor, the last of the eight, came out. But this would not be his night.
In other results on Saturday’s all-heavyweight televised portion of an event presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, undefeated Shane Del Rosario (11-0) of Irvine, Calif., submitted (arm-bar) Lavar “Big’’ Johnson (15-4) of Madera, Calif., at 4:31 in the first, Chad “The Grave Digger’’ Griggs (10-1) of Tucson, Ariz., won his fifth
consecutive start, stopping Gian Villante (7-2) of Bellmore, N.Y., at 2:49 in the opening round and Valentijn
Overeem (29-25) of Amsterdam, Holland, won his STRIKEFORCE debut via submission (neck crank) over Ray “Sugarfoot’’ Sefo (2-1) at 1:37 in the first.