Friday, February 18, 2011

Strike Force: World Heavyweight Grand Prix

1) Valentijn Overeem v. Ray Sefo- 2
2) Chad Griggs v. Gian Villante- 5
3) Shane Del Rosario v. Lavar Johnson- 4
4) Andrei Arlovski v. Sergei Kharitonov- 6
5) Fedor Emelianenko v. Antonio Silva- 5

The opening fight was quick one, as Sefo looked really confident on his feet but as soon as he got taken down, Mauro calls it and says this is not Sefo's home turf and no sooner did he get choked out. Time to go back to Extreme Couture for him and stir coffee.

Griggs came in looking akin to Starburns from Community; but he wasn't gunshy at all. He was against hometown boy Villante who seemed to just throw his gameplan out the window and flail violently because Griggs was. Griggs seemed as unpolished as my Midtown Man dress shoes but it didn't matter; his will and forward push was enough to overcome Villante in a violent but brief fight that I enjoyed.

Del Rosario is one of the promotions new golden boys rising up, and he just seemed to way too qualified against his opponent, who you kind of felt for considering in his prematch video he discussed taking a 2 year layoff because he got shot. Shane had the advantage on the feet and on the ground and got a convincing win.

Arlovski was on a 3 match losing streak, all by knockout and was fighting the darkhorse of the tournament. Arlovski's footwork was actually impressive and was able to get in a ton of his stuff, including some really nice uppercuts. This reminded me of Lidell v. Franklin where the guy that got Ko'd look good before it happened. Once Sergei found his rhythm though, he was merciless and i like his chances in this tournament overall.

Our main event provided a hell of a first round with both guys unleashing heavy artillery at every opportunity with Fedor scoring more points but "Bigfoot" landing the more significant blows. 2nd round was all Silva, passing guard easily, dropping his massive frying pan hands down upon Fedor's grill over and over again. At the end of the round Fedor's left eye was completely closed over and his face looked like ground beef. Silva looked impressive here and I think his size and power advantage didn't hurt either. Fedor talking retirement was something that totally caught me off guard as well as everyone else in the arena.

Overall not the best StrikeForce offering but all the winners came out looking better than when they went in so that's good for future business.

No comments: