Strikeforce‘s heavyweight tournament starts this Saturday. Two quarter-final matches will get things rolling. Fedor Emelianenko returns after his first loss in a decade, while Andrei Arlovski will try to recover from three consecutive losses. ‘Downtown’ Dave Brown offers his picks for the evening’s two main bouts.
Fedor Emelianenko (32-2-1) vs. Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (15-2)
This isn’t the first time Fedor has had to fight a monster, but it may be the first time that he’s had to fight one with jiu-jitsu like Silva’s. Will Fedor be tentative after losing his last fight? I doubt it. Emilianenko’s advantage in this fight is speed and cardio. He’ll overwhelm Silva early and it’ll be lights out for ‘Big Foot’. Fedor wins via 1st round TKO.
Andrei ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski (15-8) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (17-4)
This fight has the potential to be a show stopper. Both fighters like to stand and trade and both fighters have taken on elite competition in their careers. The difference? Arlovski may just be punched out. He’s dropped three straight fights in embarassing fashion; in two of those he was knocked out brutally.
Arlovski probably has the technical advantage, but Kharitonov has wild power and has won four of his last five. Arlovski has been a little more active over the last three years, but I’m not sure that helps him. He also has a size advantage, but his fighting style probably won’t allow that size advantage to be a factor. Kharitonov wins via 2nd round KO over the glass jawed Belarussian.
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