Posts Tagged ‘Strikeforce’

You have fought thirty-six times in four countries in just over ten years. You have held championship titles in three organizations, never having a belt taken from you in the ring. You spent years at the pinnacle of your sport by fighting some of the very best to ever compete, while they were in their prime, and you beat them all. You tasted defeat early and spat it back out, refusing to drink from the cup again for nine years, six months and 4 days. Millions upon millions the world over have endeared themselves to you. You lit up the faces of children all across Russia when you carried the Olympic torch. You raised the pulses of everyone who laid eyes on you in the ring, rather they be an opponent or spectator. You are the G OAT and no one has a bad word to say when asked,

“What do you think of Fedor Emelianenko?”

 

 

Humble, fearless, focused, loving, spiritual, respectful, the GREATEST, these are the words associated with the Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor has always been a quiet, calm man who never pined for the big life. He had no interest in moving to America or Japan or England, Fedor just wanted to be with his friends and family and he wanted to support them. Fedor wanted to push himself to be better at all things and he found in martial arts what he did best. From Sambo to MMA, “the Last Emperor” rose from just another Russian citizen to the most revered man in the world of combat sports. His fan base spans the globe. Fedor has talent, drive, focus, and toughness but most importantly he had mystique. He was so quiet and humble you could never figure out what was he was thinking. If you got one of the rare opportunities to ask him, his answers were either too cryptic or perhaps just too simple and honest for you to discern any real information. Fedor wasn’t going to bad mouth his opponent to try to get inside the other man’s head to gain some advantage. Or did he do it another way? Was his quiet, reserved demeanor and almost inhuman calmness just a clever ruse to make people uneasy? No one can know but Fedor. We know it wasn’t the look of him that did it.

The undersized, Russian heavyweight was short, balding, and pudgy, not exactly wielding the average fighter’s physique. It didn’t stop him from quickly reaching stardom when he began to fight in Japan. Fedor was to be tested there; gone was the level of competition in RINGS, now he would be fighting in Pride. At the time Pride was the biggest name in the sport and as such had many of the best fighters in the world fighting in their events. Fedor would never lose a single match in Pride, defeating fellow legends of the sport like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kazuyuki Fujita, Gary Goodridge, Kevin Randleman, Mirko “Cro Cop”, and Mark Coleman all in their primes. He didn’t always win with flash or superior skills. In fact some victories just seemed to be a battle of wills. Nothing epitomized this more than Emelianenko’s fights with Nogueira. He would take a beating if he had to but you could not break his will. Someone’s will had to break and you could be certain it would not be his. In his time in Japan he reigned as the heavyweight king of the world for three and a half years. It wasn’t just what Fedor did that made him the greatest, it was how he did it.

He wasn’t bigger and stronger than everyone. He wasn’t the greatest tactician to ever strap on 4 oz. gloves. He wasn’t the most prolific wrestler the world had ever seen. He wasn’t even the most technical striker to step into the ring. He was, however, as tough as they come. Fedor Emelianenko had a heart the size of Russia and a chin chiseled from quartz mined in the Ural Mountains, fists harder that could drive a coffin nail, and a will that would not be broken. Fedor lost a fight early in his career, his 5th fight, on a technicality. He was cut and if you’re cut you lose. It was nearly a decade before Fedor tasted defeat again. When Fedor walked into the arena in San Jose, CA no one in the world expected Fedor to lose. When Fedor found himself trapped in the guard of Werdum it looked like so many of his previous wars, all of which he has won. Even when you saw the leg come up and over to secure the triangle choke you just knew he was going to step into it and pull out, like he did against Nogueira so many times but . . . he didn’t. When his hand tapped in submission for the first time in his professional life the world sat, stunned. Everyone watching went silent. This was a fluke and it would never happen again, right?

That “fluke” took place in June of 2010 and The Emperor didn’t fight again until February of 2011. His first fight coming off of a loss in over a decade was the main event in the quarterfinal round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He was a 5 to 1 favorite and was all but scheduled to fight Alistair Overeem, a highly regarded Heavyweight and the Strikeforce Champion, or get a rematch with the only man to truly defeat him, Fabricio Werdum. Everything was set up beautifully for maximum drama. Once Fedor defeated Silva and moved into the next round the world would be guaranteed a bout of epic anticipation that would reverberate throughout the world rankings.

As usual on February 12th, 2011 the smaller, older Emelianenko stepped into the ring as a heavy favorite, this time over the giant Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Fedor’s face locked in the same expressionless, determined gaze. The bell sounds. The fighters begin to circle and exchange blows. Silva moves about smoothly, towering over Emelianenko but, undeterred, Fedor charges in with punches landing some heavy shots and eating a few for his trouble. They engage one another in a clinch against the cage, Silva pressing on Fedor trying to tire him out. They are reset to the center of the ring and it begins again. Fedor striking . . . the fight going from standing to the clinch and eventually to the ground . . . twenty seconds . . . a flurry from both men . . . a right, a left, a right. Swinging wildly and connecting repeatedly are both fighters. DING DING! A close round, much closer than anyone expected. Fedor’s trainers speak to him in Russian, Silva’s in Portuguese. The bell sounds again. Fedor moves forward toward the center of the cage, unloading a huge overhand right and is met by the powerful, lowered shoulder of Silva. The GOAT on his back and cannot shake the bigger man from his perch. He begins to eat punishing blow after blow to the head but he defends himself and continues to try escaping his predicament. Emelianenko rolls over in an attempt to sneak out the back and the humongous BJJ black belt has the Emperor right where he wants him, but he can’t submit him. Fedor’s will shall not be broken again. He survives the rear naked choke attempt and he is again under Silva taking punishment. Another rear escape attempt and Silva tries again to choke him out. For nearly 5 minutes straight Fedor is being smothered, squeezed, choked, and pounded on by a 280 pound man whom has every intention of finishing this fight without the judges’ input. All this punishment, yet he’s still there, still fighting . . . twenty-five seconds . . . Silva has Fedor in a knee bar, but Fedor still has the capacity to reverse into a leg lock attack of his own . . . 10 seconds . . . both men attacking the other’s leg. DING DING! As Fedor rises to his feet you can’t help but notice that his right eye is completely swollen shut from the abuse but his expression is the same. His will has not been broken and he is prepared to go into the third and final round to finish this fight.

The referee and doctors call a stop to the fight. A good decision as Fedor was completely blind in his right eye due to the immense swelling. The facial expression now changes. I know that look, that’s sadness. He knows what we’re all about to hear but all hope we aren’t. This may very well be the last time we ever see him in the cage. If we never see Fedor Emelianenko fight again, we can all be proud to say we’ve seen the greatest and that we’re just fine with that.

You, Fedor Emelianenko, were the greatest heavyweight of all time, without a doubt.  Millions would say the greatest to ever step in the ring. For a decade you captivated millions and reigned atop the sport as a valiant, humble, deserving champion. In the end you went out the way a warrior should, in a blaze of glory. You took more punishment than any man should ever be able to take in a fight and you took it from a man 50 pounds larger than you and smiled, ready to go in for more. You owe us nothing, and we all owe you the immense respect you have given every opponent that you have faced. You are the GOAT. You are Fedor Emelianenko.

 

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MMAPlayground.com Fight Companion
Strikeforce – Fedor vs. Silva

SERDAFIED

Fight My Pick My Wager
– VS – Fedor Emelianenko

Fight ends in round 2

KO / TKO

[none]
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva
[Underdog]
Fedor Emelianenko
– VS – Sergei Kharitonov

Fight ends in round 1

KO / TKO

[none]
Andrei “Pitbull” Arlovski Sergei Kharitonov
– VS – Ray Sefo

Judge’s decision

Unanimous/majority decision

[none]
Valentin Overeem Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo
– VS – Shane Del Rosario

Fight ends in round 1

KO / TKO

[none]
Lavar “BIG” Johnson Shane Del Rosario
– VS – Chad Griggs

Fight ends in round 2

KO / TKO

[none]
Chad “The Gravedigger” Griggs Gian Villante
– VS – John Cholish

Fight ends in round 1

Submission / Tapout

[none]
John Cholish Marc Stevens
– VS – John Salgado

Judge’s decision

Unanimous/majority decision

[none]
John “Greco” Salgado
[Underdog]
Igor Gracie

 

Dynamite!! 2009 Was an insanely awesome card and culminated with Aoki snapping Hirota’s humerus in half…

ept_sports_mma_experts-797868878-1262321045

the best part is that Aoki was Dream’s lightweight champ and Hirota was Sengoku’s lightweight champ. Just the idea of the two promotions coming together for such a monumental card is astounding.  There was a SRC HW title fight, a Dream HW fight, the finale for the Dream Super Hulk (open weight) Grand Prix, and several K-1 bouts but the fights between Dream and Sengoku’s guys alone would make up a robust and sizeable card.

  • LW bout: Aoki (Dream LW champ) vs. Hirota (SRC LW champ)
  • HW bout: Overeem vs. Fujita
  • FW bout: “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Kanehara (SRC FW champ)
  • LW bout: Kawajiri vs. Yokota
  • FW bout: Tokoro vs. Man Kim
  • MW bout: Manhoef vs. Misaki
  • WW bout: Sakurai vs. Gono
  • FW bout: Takaya vs. Omigawa
  • HW bout: Shibata vs. Izumi

Please, step into my FANTASY world where time and contracts and money mean nothing. The only thing that matters is the fans getting to see what they want. Let’s put together a PPV card worth $100, the greatest MMA card ever held.

Season’s Beatings 2011

Saturday December 24th 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

The UFC and Strikeforce execs have signed off to put a card together and each has agreed to send at least two champions each to the face-off. We have been asked to help assemble this card and as such I’ll get the conversation started. I’ll throw some names into the hat from each division of each promotion and list the champions from all the divisions. We’ll try to get 11 bouts. Nine UFC vs. Strikeforce (7 bouts with non title holders 2 bouts UFC Champ vs. SF Champ)bouts,  a title bout or super fight(i.e. Silva vs. GSP) for the UFC, and a Strikeforce title match or big ticket fight (i.e. Jason Miller vs. Nick Diaz), maybe the HW GP Final. I have left off the Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions of the UFC since Strikeforce doesn’t have those divisions. However, either division could be the division the UFC uses for a title fight. Let’s take a look at some of the guys listed here and start the debate… I’ll add some of your good cards to the post as well.

UFC

Champs

ufc-belt

  • Heavyweight – Cain Velasquez
  • Light-Heavyweight – Mauricio Rua
  • Middleweight – Anderson Silva
  • Welterweight – Georges St. Pierre
  • Lightweight – Frankie Edgar
  • Featherweight – Jose Aldo
  • Bantamweight – Dominic Cruz

Heavyweights

  • Junior dos Santos
  • Roy Nelson
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Shane Carwin
  • Frank Mir
  • Big Nog’

Light-Heavyweights

  • Rashad Evans
  • Rampage Jackson
  • Jon Jones
  • Lyoto Machida
  • Ryan Bader
  • Lil’ Nog’

Middleweights

  • Chael Sonnen
  • Michael Bisping
  • Chris Leben
  • Wanderlei Silva
  • Yushin Okami
  • Nate Marquardt

Welterweights

  • Josh Koscheck
  • Jon Fitch
  • Thiago Alves
  • Dan Hardy
  • BJ Penn
  • Diego Sanchez

Lightweights

  • Gray Maynard
  • Kenny Florian
  • BJ Penn
  • George Sotiropoulos
  • Jeremy Stephens
  • Clay Guida

Strikeforce

Champs

Strikeforce Belt

  • Heavyweight – Alistair Overeem
  • Light-heavyweight – Rafael Calvacante
  • Middleweight – Ronaldo Souza
  • Welterweight – Nick Diaz
  • Lightweight – Gilbert Melendez

Heavyweights

  • Fedor Emelianenko
  • Fabricio Werdum
  • Antonio Silva
  • Andrei Arlovski
  • Sergei Kharitonov
  • Brett Rogers

Light-Heavyweights

  • Dan Henderson
  • Gegard Mousasi
  • Muhammed Lawal
  • Renato Sobral
  • Roger Gracie

Middleweights

  • Cung Le
  • Jason Miller
  • Tim Kennedy

Welterweights

  • Paul Daley
  • Marius Zaromskis
  • Scott Smith
  • KJ Noons
  • ….

Lightweights

  • JZ Calvan
  • KJ Noons
  • (if they can get off their ass and pull him up) Eddie Alvarez
  • Lyle Beerbohm
  • Billy Evangelista
  • Justin Wilcox
  • Ryan “The Natural Light” Couture

Up and coming Local (Memphis, TN Metro Area) MMA fighter David ” Mauler” Martin, holding an 8-4-0 amateur record is turning pro. He will be debuting against Jamie Houston on a Strikeforce Challengers card in Jackson, MS November 19th. I recently sat down with David to get a little insight in the hometown Middleweight gladiator.

Justin Serda: David, thanks for agreeing to do this. Hopefully we can shine some light on both David Martin and “The Mississippi Mauler” for MMA fans.

David Martin:Thank you, its my pleasure.

JS: So, David, how and when did you get started in MMA?

DM: I found a home at Bang! Gym in early 2008 and began training. I was always the guy who was meant to be a fighter, and I truly feel it’s my purpose and destiny. I just needed the tools to be successful.

JS: What kind of impact has the sport had on your life, rather it be for the better or otherwise?

DM: It has been a truly beneficial and life altering journey thus far. The dedication and discipline it requires to be successful in this sport, has turned me into a better person in all aspects of my life.

JS: How have your friends and family reacted to your decision to pursue this profession?

DM: I have a great group of friends and fans that support me, and it is so greatly appreciated. The women in my family are having a little tougher time getting used to me punching people for a living, but their coming along. My father has to be the toughest on me. He is highly supportive, and a huge fan of the sport. He reserves the right to critique me in every aspect of my game. However, I can’t express how important it is to have that person that loves you, and will give it to you straight every time.

JS: I am quite proud, as I’m sure your friends and family are, to see you, a hometown fighter, take the step into the pro ranks. With your pro debut being on a Strikeforce Challengers card and just a few hours from home is there any extra pressure for you to go out and perform well and bring home a “W” in your debut?

DM: Absolutely. This is a huge opportunity and I want to take full advantage of it. However, I try not to put too much pressure on myself as far as the win or loss goes. Its just a fight, and I have been in plenty. I know that if I prepare and train like a professional, that will be the end result of my performance in the cage on the 19th.

JS: As you prepare for the transition from amateur to pro next month in Jackson, what are you doing differently training wise?

DM: My emphasis right now is on my cardio training. The main change will obviously be the extra two minutes per round. So to prepare my team is pushing me hard, so if the fight goes the distance I will be ready. I want to know I have the gas to go all the way. I’m also continuing to expand my ground and striking.

JS: I know you lost your previous fight due to submission (triangle choke) late in the 4th round. Do you feel your ground game needs to be the focus going into your pro debut?

DM: I do. I am currently working a lot of defense and tightening up the skills I already have. Being as my debut is only four weeks away, I’m not attempting to learn a great deal of new material. I’m currently a blue belt under RCJ Machado, and will be looking to advance in rank as I progress in the near future. It will certainly be a focal point in my training as I am fairly confident in my stand up game.

JS: How completely excited are you to be debuting in one of the larger promotions in the US?

DM: Words cannot describe the feeling. For me, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and a dream come true.

JS: One last thing. Good luck, brother. We’ll all be cheering for you!

DM: Thank you so much!!

I am looking forward to seeing David in action next month. I wish him a successful transition to the pro ranks and will be personally cheering him on as his career moves forward.

 


Bobby Lashley will also be fighting on the Strikeforce Nashville card on CBS. It appears that Strikeforce is pulling out all of the stops here and adding all the biggest names (and celestial bodies) they can to the card. The only way this card could get in more awesome is if Fedor filled in the TBA slot in the Bobby Lashley fight!

here is a little show piece for you if you somehow don’t know who Bobby Lashley is…

Strikeforce’s second round with CBS primetime network exposure is set to happen a short, 3 hour drive away from Memphis in Nashville, TN on April 17TH, 2010.  Just looking at this shaping fight card makes me so happy I could kick a baby into a fire and still smile.  The Headlining bout will be the Middleweight title fight between current champ Jake Shields and former UFC and PRIDE star Dan Henderson . Co-main event honors are shaping up to be Light Heavyweight title match between Gegard Mousasi and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. The cherry on top will be another title fight, this one in the Lightweight division, between Gilbert Melendez and SHINYA AOKI!!!! That’s right, you read it correctly. Shinya is finally going to fight in the States, and its a 200 mile drive from my house!! To make things even better it is rumored that (#7 HW**) Andrei Arlovski, who just signed with Strikeforce, could be fighting “Bigfoot” (I’m guessing [#19 HW] Antonio “Junior”) Silva on the same card! Junior is the only Silva I know of on the Strikeforce roster in the HW division. I really hope nothing falls through on this card. I also hope that the rumor mill gets one thing wrong… Herschel Walker is rumored to fight some random ock named TBA. I wonder if this TBA is one of the 4 random ocks Mike Valley beat up. Either way I can’t wait to trek to Nashvegas and watch Shinya, Mousasi, and Hendo do work.

If you don’t know some of these names, I’d like to take this moment to issue my condolences for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family as you go through this truly trying time. The loss of one’s manhood can be a truly debilitating experience, and can leave you feeling worthless. As a courtesy and a supplement to prayer I cordially invite you to partake in some videos of the aforementioned world ranked fighters. Not a single person tagged in this post is ranked worse than 20th in the world in his respective division.

MAIN EVENT – MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE

JAKE SHIELDS, 8-0-0 #6 Middleweight in the world**

(note: you damn well better mute this video before pressing play!!!)

DAN HENDERSON, 25-7-0 #3 MW

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

GEGARD MOUSASI, 28-2-1 #2 LHW

MUHAMMED “KING MO” LAWAL, 6-0-0 #12 LHW

LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE

SHINYA AOKI, 23-4-0-1NC #2 LW

GILBERT MELENDEZ, 17-2-0 #8 LW

(note: crank the volume on this one or be forever labeled a bitch!)

** world rankings according to FIGHT! Magazine

MMA fans must have noticed the trend of tatted up fighters. I challenge you to name 5 big name fighters with ZERO tats. Then for extra credit I would like you to name 5 of the tatted up combatants that don’t sport their name anywhere on their bodies.. I don’t have any tattoos to speak of, but I can spot a shat tat just as easily as the next guy. I want to see more as awesome as this guy:

That is an awesome tattoo, sir! I have noticed a rise in tats on fighters over the last few years but never payed much attention to what the tats actually were of. I prefer to focus on the fight itself. Unfortunately with the growing media coverage and expansion of the sport more and more print ads and web ads are showcasing fighters and in turn their tattooed bodies. When the Frank Trigg vs Matt Serra fight was announced and Serra began working his guinea charm, pointing out and I quote…

“Look, when my career is over and done with, I’m the one who can look back and say that I was the champ,” Serra said. “He got there twice and choked both times — literally. [ed. note Trigg was finished by Matt Hughes twice by rear naked chokes] I refuse to lose to a guy that has a [expletive] tramp stamp. You’ve seen his back, right? C’mon. No way am I losing to a guy that walks around with that.”

…This made me think to myself, “Man, (i refer to myself as ‘man’ cause i’m so bad ass) most of these guys have huge douchebaggish tats all over themselves. So I decided you guys need to help me compile a list likened to the PH scale:

I’ve modified it for usage here:

I’ll give you a few examples of piss poor tattoos on fighters, first:

NOTE: yes that is a Nazi eagle on his chest and a tattoo around his belly button that says “I HAVE A SMALL PENIS” in all caps…

Matter of a fact fuck it…doesn’t HAVE to be a fighter i just want to see some truly shitty and/or awesome tattoos, but preferable on fighters.

Well let’s get this bitch’s panties off shall we…