Fedor Returns Feb. 12, Kicks Off Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament
After suffering the first setback of his career in a shocking upset against Fabricio Werdum, Fedor Emelianenko will make his much anticipated return to the cage next month.
“The Last Emperor” will square off against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva as part of Strikeforce’s eight-man, single elimination World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament.
Quarterfinals for the star studded affair begin Feb. 12 with Emelianenko and Silva. In the other featured tournament bout, former world champion Andrei Arlovski will face Sergei Kharitonov.
Kharitonov holds the distinction of being the last man to defeat current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
“The Demolition Man” will also participate in the tournament and is slated to face Fabricio Werdum. In the final bout, Brett “The Grim” Rogers looks to rebound from back-to-back losses against Overeem and Emelianenko when he takes on veteran fighter Josh Barnett.
Dates for the final two fights will be announced later.
The announcement of the tournament coincides with the promotion resigning Emelianenko to a multi-year, multi-fight deal.
“We are thrilled to have come to a long-term agreement with Fedor and M-1 Global,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. “To have the greatest MMA fighter of all-time put his legacy on the line in a single-elimination tournament will truly captivate MMA fans worldwide. Strikeforce is home to the best heavyweight division in the world; the athlete who runs the gauntlet in a tournament such as this would have to be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world.”
The first round of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix will air live on Showtime.