At Saturday’s Strikeforce: Fedor versus Silva event, Strikeforce was supposed to make major strides towards putting a dent in the strangle hold that the UFC has on Mixed Martial Arts. However, the result of the main event may have hampered the organization’s steps in that direction.
During the main event, underdog Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva hammered the one-time #1 ranked heavyweight for ten minutes. At the end of the second round, Fedor’s face was so badly beaten that he was forced to discontinue the fight. This is his second straight loss in the Strikeforce organization. For a man that went nearly 10 years without a defeat, this outcome was quite possibly the worse that could have happened.
Strikeforce had received some negative reaction for a top heavy bracket once they revealed the draw for the Heavyweight Grand Prix. With a victory, Fedor would have faced Fabricio Werdum, the man who defeated him in June of 2010 or Alistair Overeem, the current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. Silva had other plans for the next round.
Using pinpoint striking, Silva was able to bloody Fedor early in the first round. His mix of striking and grappling was able to control the Russian throughout the round. The situation became worse when Silva scored an early takedown in round two. From there, he transitioned from position to position and continued to punish Fedor. At one point he had the favorite mounted while raining punches down on him. Both men showed signs of fatigue at the end of the round, but it was Fedor who was looking worse for wear. In between the second and third rounds the ringside doctor ordered a stop to the fight, giving Silva the victory.
It was apparent from the very start that Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker wanted Fedor to face off with either of the two biggest names in their organization in the second round of this tournament. Some pundits had figured that Silva would be a nice comeback fight for the Russian MMA superstar. Still the unexpected occurred, which is often the case when it comes to expectations in sports.
One and done is a tough consequence that any fighter must deal with when fighting in a tournament format. Now Fedor must recover from what was the most lopsided loss of his storied career. Yet, the larger story is how Strikeforce will recover now that their “main attraction” is out of the “biggest tournament of the year?” The Heavyweight Grand Prix just became much more interesting.
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