The Strikeforce HW Grand Prix tournament begins tonight with the first leg of the quarterfinals, and there is no better time than right before the first fight goes down to diagram the odds of the participants being KO'd somewhere along the way.
Truth is, this tournament is filled with knockout artists, such as Brett Rogers, Andrei Arlovski and Antonio Silva. Yet, are they not themselves the most likely to take a dirt nap when it's all said and done?
Andrei Arlovski Odds: 5-1
Arlovski's got arguably the easiest schedule en route to the tourney finals, and with Sergei Kharitonov and the winner of Josh Barnett/Brett Rogers in his way, Arlovski's best chance of getting knocked out lies within the semifinals matchup.
Not to say Kharitonov has no chance of KO'ing "The Pit Bull", but odds are it doesn't happen.
Sergei Kharitonov Odds: 4-1
Coming into the Grand Prix, Kharitonov is the biggest underdog of the tournament and is some fans dark horse to win it all. But winning it all will require Kharitonov to make it a point to steer clear of Arlovski's slick boxing. His biggest chance to get knocked out comes in his first fight against Arlovski or the finals should he make it to them.
Dimes to dollars says Kharitonov gets put out before he puts someone else out.
Brett Rogers Odds: 6-1
Rogers' brawler style puts him at a higher risk to get knocked out than most in this tournament, and he lucked out by being on the side of the tournament that avoids three of the four biggest strikers in the Grand Prix. Rogers is a guy that won't go down without a fight, that being his own KO and is more likely to put out Barnett or Kharitonov/Arlovski than anyone else in the tourney.
Rogers likely loses a decision fight within the tournament, unless he makes it to the finals, where these odds drastically increase.
Josh Barnett Odds: 10-1
Barnett's never been one to get knocked out, with it only happening once in his career. Barnett's style suits him well as a catch wrestler, and you know how wrestlers hate being on their backs. Barnett's not a big favorite to KO many of his opponents but don't expect him to be KO'd either.
FedorEmelianenko Odds: 9-1
I personally picked Fedor to win the Grand Prix, but with that being said, Fedor's going against some pretty tough fighters in his tournament bracket. Antonio Silva's has mean power in both of his hands, and that's Fedor's leadoff fight. It only gets tougher if he faces current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
My call is Fedor TKO's Silva in the first fight, and that may set the tone for him for the rest of the tourney.
Antonio Silva Odds: 2-1
If you happened to catch Silva's last fight against Mike Kyle, you know "Bigfoot" is susceptible to the KO, and Fedor or Overeem are very likely candidates to serve it to him cold. Silva himself is a very big threat to dish out some pain to opponents, and he's going to. The longer Silva stays in the Grand Prix, the more likely he is to be leaving it with a pillow.
Alistair Overeem Odds: 10-1
Overeem comes into the tournament as the Strikeforce heavyweight champion and one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the world. His overall feared striking game opens up his wide arsenal of kicks and submissions, and he does what it takes to win the fight wherever it goes. I see Overeem taking out Werdum as a courtesy to Fedor prior to taking on the Russian himself.
Fabricio Werdum Odds: 2-1
"Vai Cavalo" is one of the favorites to win the Grand Prix, but it's not because of his striking prowess. Werdum's slick BJJ is what may keep him from being KO'd.
But don't count on it. Overeem's power and hands could easily have Werdum out before he's even able to grab a hold of Overeem's leg.
Count on that though.