Tonight's Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva event at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey makes the beginning of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament. The event plays host the following major fights:
Here's what's at stake for each fighter tonight:
Fedor Emelianenko: the former top fighter and heavyweight in the sport is looking to rebound after his stunning loss in June to Fabricio Werdum. He enters as the tournament favorite. "Bigfoot" Silva is a legitimate opponent, but Fedor's speed and movement should be the difference.
Antonio Silva: this is easily the biggest fight of his career. Silva, an American Top Team product, must use his size to control Fedor positionally if he has any chance of winning.
Andrei Arlovski: the former UFC heavyweight champion desperately needs a win. He's lost three in a row and could be removed from the top 25 of MMA heavyweights with a fourth consecutive defeat.
Sergei Kharitonov: the PRIDE, K-1 and DREAM veteran has the opportunity to make a big statement to U.S. MMA fans and Strikeforce brass by beating a known commodity in Arlovski. He must ensure Arlovski doesn't use his superior athleticism to stick and move.
Shane del Rosario: the undefeated fighter needs to continue to accumulate experience by defeating a powerful, but technically deficient Lavar "Big" Johnson.
Lavar Johnson: the power puncher Johnson must make sure the fight does not go the distance and force del Rosario to strike with him if he has any chance to win.
Gian Villante: the Ring of Combat native has to live up to the hardcore fan hype. Fortunately he has the skills to win anywhere in the fight.
Ray Sefo: at 39, he doesn't have much to offer, but he has a big advantage over Overeem standing.