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The brackets are set and they look good

Strikeforce and Showtime have announced their big heavyweight tournament, along with a fancy pants picture showing off the brackets. The interesting thing to note here is the left side – Fedor vs Bigfoot and Overeem vs Werdum. The winners will face eachother, sorting out the gigantic heavyweight clusterfuck of 2010 quite nicely.

When you think about it, it kinda makes this only half a tournament – the fights happening on the left bracket were the matches that should have been booked before, and then you have a four man tourney on the other side to face the top champion. That’s not really a criticism, just a thought. I actually like it that way, although based on Strikeforce’s original plan to have Werdum face Brett Rogers, I doubt it was the original plan. Could kinda mess up a big PPV culmination – would you pay $44.95 for Fedor / Arlovski 2?

There are still a few questions about Josh Barnett though … he kinda fucked the dog on getting his license renewed in California, and while there are a lot of states out there that don’t give a crap (*cough* Texas *cough*), others are less likely to rubber stamp the process:

Ohio State Athletic Commissioner Bernie Profato spoke with as well, sounding more resolute and less optimistic regarding Barnett’s chances to compete at Strikeforce’s event in Columbus, Ohio on March 5:

“First off, they’d have to get whatever situation is going on in California cleared up. That’s even before we consider it. And I don’t have anything here showing that [Barnett] is attempting to get licensed in the state of Ohio.

“We check every fighter out. I they have something pending somewhere else, and that’s the case here, then we have to get that straightened out with the organization that it’s pending with.  And if there’s history of a drug situation, we would have them come out here and produce a clean drug test, probably at Ohio State University at the medical clinic. Anybody who has tested positive before would have to do that prior to the event. We have to keep up the integrity of the sport.”

Scott Coker seems less worried:

Is there any concern about Josh Barnett getting a license?
Not at all. We’ve talked to four athletic commissions that will license him with a clean test. We feel confident that won’t be an issue. Keep in mind Josh Barnett went to Sacramento six weeks ago, took a test and was clean. He hasn’t fought for a year-and-a-half in America. He still has issues in California, so his fight won’t be in California, but Josh has moved on, and we’re moving on, too. He’s been out of the fight business in America for 18 months. I think he’s served his time.

But it’s worth noting that when the question of when and where the Barnett fight would happen, he couldn’t answer the question.

What are the chances we’ll see Rogers-Barnett & Werdum-Overeem at your March show in Columbus, Ohio?
In Columbus, we’re going to do a regular show, not part of the heavyweight tournament. In April, we’ll come back with the other two quarterfinals. We’re looking for venues right now so we don’t have the location.

Spreading the quarterfinals out like that is less than ideal. Could the OSAC’s shocking display of commission solidarity have something to do with it?

  • pewnt

    Copied from Reem.Hadouken’s “SF belt could change ownership multiple x before end of the tourny”

    To lazy to type it twice.

    Strikeforce can’t even get the brackets right. They have it set up so that Overeem/Fedor will most likely meet in the semi finals. The Dumb asses need to switch Fedor/Silva to the other side, and baring any injuries your more than likely to have a Fedor/Overeem finale that would be a perfect headliner for their first PPV, or their return to CBS.

    Instead they make Overeem’s fights 5 rounders, have the “it” fight in the Semi’s, and the other half of the bracket is full of I don’t give a shit by comparison. Lets say Fedor beats Overeem. We have a 50% chance the the finale will be a Arlovski, or Rogers rematch.

    Could they all be great fights that give us Happy Joy Joy Feelings (sry watched Demolition Man on tv last night) all year long…yup

    Are they running a big risk of people losing interest after the Semi’s…yup

  • agentsmith

    ^^ No shit, Fedor/Werdum should definitely be on the other side of the brackets. As it stands, we’re pretty much guaranteed a Fedor/Ubereem semifinal.

  • Reverend Clint

    id swap overeem with kharitonov. this might be a conspiracy theory but maybe they want fedor and overeem to fight early so fedor wins and they can call him the champ which would in their minds promote the finals better. remember this is coming from the mind of scott “mongo” coker

  • glassjawsh

    @ pewnt – I’m pretty sure they have it bracketed this way because of what happened the last time they counted on fedor winning (triangledddddddddd)
    the earlier those two fight the better.

    also if the finals are barnett v fedor or barnett v overeem people will watch

  • pewnt

    With this set up we could get something like this:

    “Arlovski vs Silva(champ) for the Strikeforce World Grand Prix Finale”

    Now that’s a headliner that will make some money. lol.

  • Jim

    Are all the fights going to happen this year? If it drags on it’s going to end up sucking, like the super six.

  • G Funk

    ^ This!

  • Blackula Jonez

    Barring any medical suspensions they should run it like Bellator and have a tournament fight every month until they have the finals.

    Nice to see OSAC getting props for being a damn fine athletic commission, last year they implemented day of event weigh ins and a 230 cruiserweight div for amateur fights.

  • P W

    I don’t get the brackets either. The left side appears MUCH tougher than the right.

    Well, at least you can’t blame Strikeforce for not being ambitious.

  • pewnt

    @ Glassjawsh, comment #4

    Very good point. If that’s the case Coker should have a press release like this rather than this lop sided Grand Prix.


    “We thought of the Grand Prix with all out top heavy weights would be a great idea, but with the level of competition we have here in Strikeforce we decided that a Grand Prix, with our top contenders would be risking the fans not getting the fights that they want to see”

    “Today I am announcing that Overeem will be fighting Werdum for the HW title on Card A. Fedor has SIGNED to fight Big Foot Silva on Card B. The Winners of these two fight will then face off for the HW title on card C.”

    “At the same time we are going to be holding a HW Grand Prix to determine the pecking order of our HW division*. With so many talented fighters we decided that a Grand Prix would be the best way to determine who will be our next #1 contender.”

    Card A – Q1 2011
    Overeem v Werdum
    Quater Finals of Tourney

    Card B – Q2 2011
    Fedor v Silva
    Semi Finals of Tourney

    Card C – Q3/4 2011
    Winner vs Winner
    Finals of Tourney – with a nice stare down photo op at the end of the show.

    Card D – Q3/Q1 2011/2012
    Champ vs Grand Prix Winner


    – Have 3 months between shows. Full year of active HW action.

    – Yes injuries can fuck this up, but no more than they could fuck up a Grand Prix.

    – Appeal to the fans by telling them that they are going to get the fights they were promised.

    -Relying on Barnett to A) get licensed, and B) Piss clean after Quarter/semi’s is dangerous. Him fighting before he resolves his CSAC problems could come back to bite Strikeforce in the ass.

    – If Overeem wants to stay busy……give him another can in Japan between Card A, and C. Someone he has almost zero chance losing to. Ex Hyun Lee, Goodridge, Sylvester, Thompson, or Fujita.

    – This took me about as much effort to think up as wiping my ass this morning, so I think that Scott “Mongo” Coker**, and his team could have come up with it.

    * Replace Fedor, Silva, Werdum, Overeem with Johnson, Del Rosario, Sefo, Mahe, Cormier, Lashley, or Grigs (all under contract)

    ** scott “mongo” coker – all credit to Rev Clint for this name. Made me laugh.

  • mmariusp

    Instead they make Overeem’s fights 5 rounders, have the “it” fight in the Semi’s, and the other half of the bracket is full of I don’t give a shit by comparison.

    Well, if they did it any other way you would probably said “they are setting things up and protecting blablalbla”

    just enjoy the fucking fights.

  • glassjawsh

    @ pewnt – so basically you are saying that because you are a negative nancy (nitpicking nancy?) that you can’t enjoy these fights because unless it’s a flawlessly delivered, perfectly executed plan contested between the unquestionable best athletes in the division, you’d find it impossible to enjoy?

    i know im over exaggerating to prove a point, but there will always be something wrong with every card that ever goes down ever (even Zuffa fucks stuff up….that’s blasphemy to hear i know)

    seriously man, stop picking at scabs and syntax and just be stoked that there is a 38% chance (that seems about right) that 2011 that SF pulls this epic tournament off

  • frickshun

    Jawsh->I’m saying 13% chance they pull it off.

  • pewnt

    @ Glassjawsh

    Cool. Just for you I will not post anything on the HW Grand Prix, Fedor, or Overeem for the rest of 2011.* HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

    I agree that I am beating a dead horse here, but at this point I think I have gotten my opinion on these topics out there.

    I agree that Zuffa fucks up. They have made huge mistakes, but I hate that other promotions can’t learn from them. (ex UFC/Pride fighter exchange)

    *I reserve the right to comment on results after fights have happened, further contract negotiations, or passing on info without adding my 2 cents. I will limit comments to one (small) paragraph.

  • Symbul

    You guys are wrong. Setting Overeem-Fedor(&/or Werdum) up to maybe meet in the finals is the obvious move but it’s not the smart move. M-1 are going to throw a fit at every possible opportunity and banking on two out of three of the guys I listed above coming through two fights victorious and showing up for a third in a timely fashion is just asking for trouble.

    This way they get great matchups right away and can set up the B-level bracket fights under the A-level fights on broadcasts.

  • fightlinker

    The reason the left bracket is so much crazier is because Overeem wanted Werdum and then Fedor. Werdum wanted Fedor or Overeem. Yeah, it’s still Strikeforce waffling to it’s fighters, but let’s be honest: we all wanted Werdum / Overeem and Fedor / Overeem anyways.

    Now watch Bigfoot lie on top of Fedor for three rounds or something. Doubtful considering what Kyle managed to do to him, but then again, Baby Jesus hates Strikeforce

  • subo

    Overeem is going to destroy Fedor.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    And they set the Brackets up based on the fighters schedules/injuries/availability.

    I think it’s a good move to force the Reem/Fedor fight one one side. It insures that one of those guys will be champ, bar they get past Werdum.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    And I don’t think it’s Waffling. The Reem deserves first shot at who he wants.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    Also the possibility of Barnett vs Fedor is nice.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    He might. He may be the first man to KO or TKO Fedor, which would be an amazing feet.

    Two demi gods enter, one god leaves!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FIGHT!

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I’m not sure about Reem’s combos against Fedor’s speed. Uber’s gotten so good lately at countering and/or picking careful shots, and a few close combos but I’m really curious to see how he reacts to the bum’s (Timmah) rush with 4oz gloves where he’s gotta cover up tighter and whatnot.

    Fedor’s foot speed will also be interesting against Uber’s stride length and knees.

    Fuck, between caffeine and scanning all these comments for spam I’m actually getting amped for a match I can’t let my inner-child believe in. FOCK.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    The thing with Fedor is he usually takes shots, but shots from the Reem aren’t to be ignored.

    I think Fedor would have the ground advantage, but the Reem’s strength can’t be ignored there either.

    Fedor could put him down though.

    It will be epic beyond all reckoning.

  • Billytk

    Wow those match ups suck for the first round, and who thought it was a good idea to put Overeem, Fedor and Werdum all on the same side of the tree :(
    kind of makes the possible final for the “title” anti-climactic I wouldn’t have minded so much if they had at least made it Fedor v Werdum and Overeem v Silva but this is the worst possible set up they could have done… way to fuck up a brilliant initial idea..

  • unclefesterdanawhite

    The finals could end up being crap. Kharitonov hasn’t been fighting good competition in awhile. Kharitonov’s last good win was KO’ing pre-horse meat Overeem in ’07. He lost to Monson in ’09. And Josh Barnett hasn’t been doing shit much lately either. He ver well may not be as good now as he used to be. So a Fedor/Overeem vs. Barnett final might not even be that good. Oh and Arlovski is over-the-hill and apparently Warpath was actually freakin competitive with Brett Rogers. lol.

    That all said we are getting some great fights. Fedor/Silva, Overeem/Werdum, Kharitonov/Arlovski aren’t at the top of their game but it could be a good scrap. The left bracket semis is the true final and I’m looking forward to that one. The right bracket semis might turn out good if Kharitonov/Arlovski can be competitive with Barnett (with Barnett taking the long lay off, I doubt Barnett is going to beat those guys very easily so it should be competitive hopefully. Maybe I shouldn’t overlook the possibility of Rogers beating Barnett though. He could get a flash KO or something. But overall Rogers sucks.)

    I’m definitely interested in the tournament. It’s best to get the more competitive fights out of the way first because M-1 and Fedor are stubborn mofos. It’s a shame that Strikeforce doesn’t have enough roster depth to craft a stronger right bracket though.