Strikeforce Fedor Vs Silva: Power Ranking the Grand Prix Combatants
This week, the start of the highly-anticipated Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix begins with the return of Fedor Emelianenko.
While many have marked him as the heavy favorite to win the tourney, Bleacher Report MMA came up with a power ranking list of the eight members of grand competition.
Some of you will be quite surprised at who is listed at both the top and bottom of this list.
No. 8: Andrei Arlovski
Now calm down, Pit Bull fans. There is a reason that your beloved Belarusian is at the bottom of this list; he hasn't won a fight since October of 2008.
In his last three outings since then, he's been defeated by three other competitors in this tournament (Fedor, Rogers, Silva).
Although his striking is stellar, he just doesn't have the jaw that he once had earlier in his career.
Expect to see an early exit by the former UFC champion.
No. 7: Brett Rogers
With a puncher's chance, Brett Rogers has an opportunity of getting to the next round of the tournament if he can defeat a very skilled and very experienced Josh Barnett in April.
However, we would't place any bets on it, Rogers will most likely be overwhelmed by Barnett's versatile attack and see an early exit from the tournament as well.
No. 6: Sergei Kharitonov
The Russian Mercenary is an excellent striker with good knockout power, who will make short work of Andrei Arlovski on Feb. 12.
No. 5: Antonio Silva
The Campina Grande native has amassed a 2-1 record since debuting for the promotion back in 2009 and is looking to make a name for himself by defeating legendary fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, on Feb. 12.
This will be his biggest test to date, and if he can manage to actually pull the upset, then Silva automatically moves himself near the top of this list.
No. 4: Fabricio Werdum
With his upset win over Fedor Emelianenko last year, Werdum is positioned to make a strong run in the tournament if he can get past the promotion's champ, Alistair Overeem.
While Overeem has the edge in size, power and striking, should the fight go to the floor, Werdum could shock the world once again with a submission victory.
No. 3: Alistair Overeem
The massively muscled Strikeforce heavyweight champion has a chance to truly cement himself as one the top three heavyweights in the world with a tournament win, provided that he faces off against either Josh Barnett or Fedor Emelianenko to seal the deal.
No. 2: Josh Barnett
In the final match of the quarterfinal round, the Baby-Faced Assassin makes his return to action against what many consider one of the weakest combatants in the competition: Brett Rogers.
This fight is all dependent on whether Barnett can keep clean long enough to actually pass the drug tests and fight.
Otherwise, the heavyweight alternates like Shane Del Rosario, or even Valentijn Overeem, might have a shot at getting in on the tourney.
With Rogers' limited skill set, it's doubtful that he'll be able to defeat the much more seasoned Barnett.
No. 1: Fedor Emelianenko
In the No. 1 spot our our list, who else would we place there but "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko?
Coming off what many would consider his first official loss, Fedor is looking to reclaim his role as pound-for-pound king.
For Emelianenko, he has a lot riding on this tournament; if he wins on Feb. 12, it puts him one step closer to finally taking on the promotion's current champion: Alistair Overeem.
With an overall tournament win, it will allow us to see the great Fedor in perhaps his final run before retirement.
While we don't want to take anything away from Fabricio Werdum's shocking win last June, it is highly unlikely that Emelianenko will get caught in an triangle armbar again.
Look for Fedor to beat Bigfoot to advance far into the tourney.