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While there is no confirmation, this appears to be the end. During the post-fight interview with commentator Gus Johnson at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva, Fedor Emelianenko suggested that now might be time for him to retire. An unhappy and stunned crowd urged him to reconsider.
While fans may believe this to be too soon, we know Fedor already hinted at retirement before this fight even took place.
What does it all mean? This will slightly diminish the win by Fabricio Werdum earlier in 2010. While that may be unfair, criticisms that Fedor was competing past his prime and even his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts are certain to be aired.
Fedor is easily the greatest heavyweight fighter ever to have competed. While the streak was filled with some questionable opposition, his unbeaten streak and domination of the division in the early 2000s remain the most prestigious accomplishment in MMA history. It is unlikely the sport will witness that kind of control at heavyweight ever again.
It wasn't the picture perfect ending either fighter imagined, but it's real: Fedor Emelianko loses to Antonio Silva by doctor stoppage. What happened in June against Fabricio Werdum - the unthinkable - now happened twice in a row, both defeats coming at the hands of Brazilians. Call it the revenge of Nogueira.
In the first round, both fighters stood on the feet and generally evenly traded, perhaps with Fedor getting the better of the exchanges on the judges score cards. One can still make a case for Antonio Silva to have won that round, especially given the late takedown he secured just before the bell sounded.
The second round, however, belonged entirely to the American Top Team prospect. He took Fedor down immediately, controlled Fedor's position on the bottom, passed to superior position on top and unloaded a barrage of hard strikes that nearly stopped the action. He was able to keep Fedor controlled either in back mount or mount and came close to securing a head and arm triangle. Fedor was able to escape late and even attempted a submission of his own towards the end of the second, but the damage had been done. Before the third round started, Fedor could not see out of his left eye and the doctor stopped the fight.
The doctor stops this contest at the end of round two. Antonio Silva is the winner by way of TKO. He will face the winner of Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem.
There will be debate about the stoppage, but the notion that Fedor can still compete at the highest level in professional heavyweight MMA has never been more dubious.
Antonio Silva opens round two with a diving double-leg takedown that puts the Russian flat on his back. He's now working from Fedor's half guard. Silva trying to land savage ground and pound, but Fedor is doing a respectable job controlling posture. Silva moves to north-south position, then to side and now to mount. He's raining punches and trying to fltatten Emelianenko. Hammerfists now from Silva. Now he's transitioning back to mount. Fedor is being completely controlled. Fedor continues to roll and now Silva is transitioning for a head and arm triangle. Silva is completely dominating him. Fedor escapes the submission, but Silva is still on top in Fedor's half guard. Fedor tries to sit up, but Silva cross-faces him to put him down. The Russian looks exhausted. Now Silva looks to his corner for advice. Silva rolls for a kneebar, but it appears to be loose. Now FEDOR goes for a straight ankle lock. It does not appear to be tight.
SBNation scores this round 10-9 Silva.
Antonio Silva enters to Eminem's 8 Mile theme music and is roundly booed. The crowd here is almost singularly for Emelianenko. Fedor Emelianenko, on the other hand, gets the loudest applause of the night as he looks down on the walkway to the cage.
The entire crowd is on its feet.
The referee in charge of the action is Dan Miragliotta.
Fedor throws big punches and misses most of them, but they're swung heavily. Silva using much tighter defenses than Emelianenko. Silva with a leg kick. Fedor trying to strike first and misses with a right hand lead. Both fighters clinching now against the fence. The referee separates them. Silva lands a right, but Fedor responds. Then another right from Bigfoot. Push kick from Silva backs Fedor into the cage and Bigfoot ties him up there. Fedor demonstrates incredible balance using a guillotine choke to land on top on a takedown attempt. Fedor dives into Silva's guard. Fedor attempted a kimura, but Silva was able to stand. Silva lands a right of his own now. Both fighters appear to be resting against the fence. With two seconds left in the first round, Silva lands a double leg takedown against the fence.
SBNation.com scores the round 10-9 Emelinaneko.
Strikeforce announced tonight that the most popular female fighter in the sport, Gina Carano, would be returning to action for the mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Tonight's announcer called "the female face of MMA".
Carano is not only the most famous female fighter in the sport, but arguably in all of Strikeforce. If the San Jose-based organization hopes to make the leap to pay-per-view, Carano is an essential ingredient. They cannot have pay-per-view success without her. It's being intimated she will return sometime in the summer.
Carano's last fight was a loss to current Strikeforce women's welterweight champion Cris Cyborg. She has not participated or really even trained very much since that date. Busy with movies, she'll need ample time to prepare for her return.
The crowd here at the IZOD Center appears to be very hardcore as Sergei Kharitonov gets a decent roar from the audience. Andrei Arlovski, on the other hand, gets a roaring applause. And the cameras came out for the first time all night.
The referee in charge of the action is Kevin Mulhall. Kharitonov takes center of the cage and uses a pushkick to keep the Golden Glory fighter at a distance. Big right for Arlovski lands and the speed diference is obvious. Both fighters trading uppercuts in the clinch. Arlovski showing a lot more movement top to bottom, throwing kicks and staying at range. A one-two from Arlovski barely misses. Jab from Kharitonov. Arlovski using range mich more effectively. Chants of "ANDREI" from the crowd now. Jab from Belarussian and he follows it up with more punches. Arlovski is hurt. Kharitonov smells blood and pushes forward. He drops Arlovski with a barrage of punches. Referee Kevin Mulhall has no choice but to stop the fight.
That's the fourth consecutive loss for the former UFC heavyweight champion.
Sergei Kharitonov defeats Andrei Arlovski by referee stoppage (knockout) at 2:49 of the very first round. He will face the winner of Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers.
Both Lavar Johnson and Shane del Rosario enter the cage without much fan fare. Johnson's body language is significantly more amped.
The referee in charge of the action is Yves Lavigne.
Del Rosario is standing southpaw and Johnson, orthodox, is already throwing bombs. Del Rosario body locks with Johnson and drives him back into the cage. Both fighters now jockey against the fence for position. It's actually Johnson who lands on top after a trip takedown. Del Rosario now working from his own full guard. Johnson throws del Rosario's legs by to land a bomb and del Rosario uses the opportunity to stand as Johnson overcommits. Johnson lands a big right to the body. Now del Rosario with a nice left counter. Johnson's now throwing big punches but swinging wildly. Del Rosario gets Johnson to the ground and mounts as Johnson turns his hips in the wrong direction. Big punches from del Rosario in mount, but Johnson's doing his best to block. Del Rosario spins for the topside armbar, almost loses it and recaptures it just in time to put Johnson away.
Shane del Rosario defeats Lavar Johnson by submission via armbar at 4:31 of the first round.
The referee in charge of the action is Yves Lavigne.
Both fighters standing orthodox and swinging wildly at each other. Griggs is landing bombs as this turns into an MMA brawl. Griggs is landing huge punches inside. Villante forces Griggs to the fence to slow the action. Villante appears to be hurt and is taking a ton of punishment from Griggs. Villante attempts a takedown, it's stuffed and now he's eating punches. Villante appears to be working on auto-pilot, but is still standing. HUGE head kick from Villante lands. Referee Lavigne stops the action to put a mouthpiece back in Gian Villante. They restart the action and Griggs lands two huge rights that send Villante crumbling to the mat. A few more punches from Griggs and the referee Lavigne is forced to step in.
Some controversy about Lavigne stopping the action after Griggs was hurt from the head kick, but no matter. Griggs succeeded in making the fight a brawl and worked inside to off balance Villante.
Referee Yves Lavigne stops this bout at 2:49 of the very first round. Chad Griggs is your winner.
The referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta. Overeem is the first to strike with an inside leg kick and Sefo returns the favor with an outside leg kick. Overeem chases inside and Sefo tags him with a right...and another as Overeem gets chased inside. Both fighters swing on the inside and miss. Overeem attempts and lands a double leg takedown after timing the shot off a punch against the fence and gets it in side control. He works for some modified version of a neck crank and there it is. Sefo taps. Unreal.
Not much of a challenge from the Xtreme Couture product. Overeem appeared prepared, but not able to compete at this level. Winning by neck crank from side control is a brute strength maneuver and nothing that would stop any fighter of any high-level MMA merit.
This fight is stopped by the referee due to submission at 1:37 of the very first round. Valentiijn Overeem is your winner.
This is the fifth bout on the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva event: Marc Stevens vs. John Cholish
Cholish standing orthodox, Stevens standing southpaw. Both fighters feeling each other out in the early going. After taking a big shot, Stevens tries a throw, but the balance of Cholish takes over and he lands on top. Cholish now working in Stevens guard. In a scramble Cholish threatens with an arm-in guillotine, but gives it up to unload punches as Stevens stands. The fighters clinch and Cholish drives knees into the body of Stevens with a muay Thai plum. Cholish wrestles Stevens to the ground and works from side control. Stevens tries to roll to one hip and escape, but Cholish uses a deep whizzer to keep him pinned. The round ends with Cholish going in and out of Stevens' guard as he strikes from on top.
SBNation.com scores this round 10-9 Cholish.
Cholish again is the aggressor and gets Stevens to the floor with ease. Stevens works and active guard and throws up his legs for a triangle buy nothing doing. Cholish uses the opportunity to move to half guard. With Stevens clinging him to control posture, Cholish drags him to the fence where he was having earlier success. Without taking much damage, Stevens is able to stand again. Stevens attempts his own double leg and as Cholish defends, he throws Cholish by. Cholish, however, rolls inside for a kneebar. It's tight and Stevens taps.
John Cholish is your winner. He taps Marc Stevens with a kneebar at 3:57 of round two.
This is the fourth bout on the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva event: Igor Gracie vs. John Salgado.
Igor Gracie gets the much louder applause from the partisan crowd. Referee Kevin Mulhall officiating the action. Salgado takes center of the cage first. Gracie initiates a clinch against the fence and eats a knee for his efforts. Huge double leg scoop slam by Gracie right into side control and then to Salgado's back. Gracie first attempts a Gable Grip style finish to a rear naked choke then transitions to bicep grip. Salgado tries to reverse head butt and the referee warns him not to do it. Gracie how has the figure-four body lock as Salgado fights off other submission attempts. Salgado is trying to secure two-on-one wrist control to reverse Gracie, but nothing doing. The crowd begins to boo. The round ends with Gracie in mount landing punches.
SBNation.com scores this round 10-9 Gracie.
Salgado kicks off the second round with leg kicks, but Gracie bull rushes him to the floor and now against the fence. Gracie is easily able to pass guard and moves to mount where he grapevines Salgado's legs. Salgado attempts a heel hook to create a scramble, but Gracie flairs out and reestablishes control. Gracie moves to lock up the head and arm triangle and positions his body counter-clockwise to squeeze. Salgado doesn't tap and goes to sleep
Igor Gracie wins by submission at 3:04 of the second round.
This is the third fight of the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva event.
The win came at 4 minutes, 10 seconds of the first round. Don Carlo-Clauss was simply overmatched against Sam Oropez. From the beginning the Fight Factory product was all over Carlo-Clauss with better technical gifts and better training in each position of the game.
He dropped Carlo-Clauss early and was able to put him away quickly thereafter. Carlo-Clauss did his best to hang on and attempted a single leg takedown as Oropez smashed him with hammer fists in defending the takedown, but couldn't make much of it. Eventually that spelled the beginning of the end.
At the point the referee had no choice but to step in and stop the action. Sam Oropez wins easily. Big win for the young prospect.
This fight is the second event at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva.
Both fighters circling without doing much to each other. LaBerge is doing most of the charging positionally, but not throwing strikes. The crowd begins to boo. LaBerge clinches and Leone throws him off. Awkward spinning back first for Leone finds the mark. Left hook now from Leone. Leone shoots for a single and backs LaBerge into the cage. LaBerge stuffs it and lands several hard knees in the clinch that bucke Leone. Leone appears to be bleeding badly as the two scramble for position against the fence. Leone on top now and in side control. The round ends there.
SBNation.com scores this round 10-9 LaBerge.
The bout is now over after the doctor's stop the fight due to the cut on Leone's forehead. The winner is Josh LaBerge.
The crowd here at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey is actually not that small. Both fighters are in the cage.
McLean is first with an inside kick as both fighters circle. Roddy returns the favor. Both fighters trading and not giving each other much. McLean faking a shot, but not really acting on it. Checked kick from Roddy. Roddy drops McLean and ties up with him against the fence. Two jabs from Roddy find the mark. Decent inside leg kick from Roddy again. Excellent body kick from McLean, but Roddy stands tall in the pocket. McLean and Roddy trading power punches now, neither fighter gaining an advantage. Just before the round ends McLean lands a nice takedown trying to steal the round.
SBNation.com scores this round 10-9 Roddy.
The second round starts with Roddy taking center of the cage and landing nice inside leg kicks. McLean is moving well but taking big breaths. McLean charges forward with punches but none land. Head kick from Roddy is blocked. Left straight to the body, right hook to the head finds the mark from McLean. Another right hand lands from McLean as Roddy is leaving his head straight after combinations. An inadvertent groin shot temporarily stops the action. McLean lands a flurry of rights that drops Roddy to the canvas, but the New Jersey native is able to recoup and stand back up. Another right hook from McLean finds the mark. Left hook now from McLean finds a home. McLean attempts another takedown before the bell and is hit with another groin shot. The round ends anyway.
SBNation.com scores this round 10-9 McLean.
McLean opens the round charging forward with punches, but misses. Jab to the body lands for McLean. Roddy is still moving forward. McLean attempts a double leg takedown and is stuffed, but Roddy attempts one of his own. In the scramble, Roddy pins McLean flat on his back and moves to half guard. Roddy moves to mount and starts to rain punches. McLean trying to buck and move, but Roddy sits tight. Roddy stands to drop punches and as McLean rolls, Roddy takes his back and locks in a figure-four body lock. McLean gets out of mount and lands in Roddy's guard. Roddy moves for an armbar, but the final bell sounds.
SBNation.com scores this round 10-9 Roddy and 29-28 for Roddy.
The judges 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 for Jason McLean by split decision.
Join us here at SB Nation MMA tonight as Luke Thomas (@MMANation) is live at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford for Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva. Tonight is the first event of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament and all of the fighters on the main card are heavyweights.
Tonight's fights are as follows:
The first quarterfinal fight in the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament features former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and PRIDE, K-1 and DREAM veteran Sergei Kharitonov. Neither man has ever faced the other nor are they favored to win the entire tournament.
The second quarterfinal final and tonight's main event features Fedor Emelianenko and American Top Team's Antonio Silva. Neither man has ever faced the other. Emelianenko is favored to win tonight's fight and the entire Strikeforce tournament.
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