A year and half ago, Fedor was on the short list of names when you needed to know the baddest man on the planet. Skip ahead to the present day, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Russian's career might be over, after he was beaten up by Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the main event of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament quarterfinal match at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Saturday night. Silva used a severe bulk advantage to have his way with Fedor, and after nearly getting submitted and stopped out on strikes in the second round of their match, Fedor's right eye was swollen and glued shut. A dozen hammer fists will do that. The doctor advised the referee to pull the plug.
Fedor (31-2 entering; from Russia; coming off a loss to Fabricio Werdum in his last outing; age 34) weighed 230 pounds, while Silva (from Brazil; 15-2 entering) was 264 pounds at the weigh in, probably over 280 on fight night.
Credit to Fedor, he stuck around for an interview postfight. Thru a translator, he said, "Something went wrong, I didn't re-adjust myself. Maybe it's the time to leave." Gus Johnson asked him to be more explicit. "Yes, maybe, it's the last time, maybe it's high time. Thanks God for everything. I spent a great, beautiful, long sport life. Maybe it's God's will."
In the first, Silva got caught with a counter, after starting out extremely aggressively. Silva looked to smush Fedor against the cage. Fedor wanted to get a guillotine on Silva but the giant smothered that. Fedor got on top, then looked for a kimura, which Silva escaped from. Fedor's nose dripped blood as Silva pushed him against the cage. The two traded, and then Silva grabbed hold of Fedor to keep the Russian's bombs in check. In the second, Silva slipped a shot and brought Fedor to the mat. Silva gained side control, then got his back. Fedor slipped back onto his back, and then on to his belly once again. Silva looked for a choke, and then threw hammer fists down at the Russian, with two minutes to go. Silva worked for a side triangle choke, then lost it, when Fedor slithered out. He was still on his back, with 1:20 hours to go. Minutes, I know, but it had to feel like an eternity..Silva tried for a kneebar, and then Fedor tried for an ankle lock, which Silva basically laughed at. It was a busy round. Fedor's right eye was nearly shut after the round, and the ref called for a stoppage.
In the TV semifinal, Sergei Kharitonov fought Andrei Arlovski, a former UFC heavyweight champion who came in with three straight losses, to Fedor, Brett Rogers and Antonio Silva. This match was a quarterfinal scrap in the Grand Prix. Arlovski looked to be first, and he used his feet to his advantage, getting off and getting out of range early on. But he got dropped by a left hook-right uppercut-right hook package, and Sergei followed with three shots, the last of which knocked Arlovski into Tweetybird land. He lay flay on his back, eyes open, but unfocused. The loser dropped to 23-9. Seven of his losses have via strikes, and he's been punched out in the first round for the third time in two years. Might it be time to give in to the brutal truth, and admit that his brain isn't responding to impact like he'd like it to, and retire? The winner is now 18-4.
Shane Del Rosario faced off with Lavar Johnson, who was shot in July 2009 at a family reunion, and hit three times, but who looked none the worse for wear in the first round. But that didn't mean he had an answer for Del Rosario's armbar. The tapout win came at 4:31 for Del Rosario.
Gian Villante of New York met Chad Griggs, who boasts the scalp of ex WWEer Bobby Lashley. Griggs brought it to him from second one. Villante maybe turned the tide with a high kick which caused a bleed from Griggs' left ear. No deal, Griggs kept on whaling, and caught Villante at 2:49 of the first round with a right from hell and a hammer fist flurry to close it out, via TKO.
Valentijn Overeem, the older brother of the Strikeforce heavyweight champion, snapped a neck crank onto K1 vet Ray Sefo, and made him tap out at 1:37of the first round of the TV opener.