Heavyweight Grand Prix finally arrives this Saturday. Tune in to find out if Fedor
Emelianenko can redeem himself after suffering his first official defeat or if
“Big Foot” Silva’s size and youth deserve more credit.
Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix
Fedor vs. Silva
Stage 1 of
Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament
is set to go down this Saturday at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New
Jersey. Fedor Emelianenko will headline the
card against Antonio Silva while Andre Arlovski battles it out with Sergei Kharitonov in the co-feature of the night. If
Fedor can make quick work of the (13-2) Antonio Silva he’ll face the winner of Alistair Overeem
vs. Fabricio Werdum in
2betdsi released their undercard MMA betting lines on Tuesday with a
few high priced favorites. Shane Del Rosario is one of the few fighters that have been bet down to a
playable range. The initial price of -245 may have been a bit much against his
much larger opponent, but at the current price of -170, Shane’s superior speed
and technical striking is enough to justify the current line.
I would wait to see if the line drops even
further after the weigh-ins. Shane is playable at anything under -190 in my
opinion. He’s also serving as an
alternate to the Heavyweight tournament should someone get injured during the
Grand Prix. Shane is listed at +3500 to win the tournament at 5dimes.com.
Fedor vs. “Big-Foot” Silva
surprised to find Fedor priced as the runner-up to Alistair Overeem winning this tournament. The truth is, though, Fedor’s
inactivity and recent talk of retirement has left many to question his desire
into strikeforce has been sketchy at best. After being entirely too competitive
against a tire salesman in his first fight with Brett Rogers, he received the
first official loss of his MMA career.
choke heard round the world!
coming in as nearly a +380 dog, Fabrico Werdum was able to survive Fedor’s
initial onslaught to secure the choke that many feel provoked the MMA-upset of
opponent, Antonio Silva, is also viewed as a high level jiu-jitsu practioner
with ever improving stand-up. Just recently he was able to outbox the crafty Andre
Arlovski en route to a unanimous decision. His counter punching ability was on
full display during the fight. His straight right and left hook caused Arlovski
distress early and often. CompuStrike had him finishing the fight 67/128 with 52% of his total strikes landing.
“Big-Foot” Silva certainly lives up to his nickname. A victim of the rare
disorder known as Acromegaly (Gigantism),
Silva stands at 6’4”, 285 pounds, with an
82” reach. His size advantage may be Fedor’s biggest obstacle on the night.
One of the
key unknowns going into this fight is how Antonio chooses to implement his
takedowns. He was 2/3 on his takedown attempts against Arlovski and was able to
use his strength to keep Andre pinned up against the cage for large portions of
wouldn’t advocate a straight bet on
Emelianenko at -400, but Paddypower.com’s option of Silva by submission at 16/1,
and 5dimes option of Fedor “inside the distance” at -175 present some moderate
betting value. Silva should find out real quick the difference between slipping
Andrei’s right hand for a counter, and trying to counter the monster that is
Fedor’s overhand right. It also won’t be nearly as easy for Silva to force Fedor
on his back foot as it was against Andrei. Fedor’s swarming aggression and
faster hands should prove to be the difference in the fight.
My free MMA picks:
Fight won't start round 3 -162
Rosario -170 (bookmaker.com)
Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei
The sportsbooks are having a tough time taking a strong position on this fight, and for good
reason. Each fighter has enjoyed tenure as the betting favorite only to shift
back into the dog. Sergei has recently held firm at Pinnacle.com, floating
in-between the -116 to -120 range.
Both men have
a background in Sambo and pride themselves on their punching ability. Arlvoski’s
last fight was encouraging in the sense that his chin held up against some
heavy shots, but on the other hand, he was leaving his left hand entirely too
low and was consistently being countered by the much slower Silva.
The dilemma that
presents itself comes down to us having the perfect archetype of fighter to
beat Arlovski -- aggression + heavy hands, but with rapidly diminishing skills.
Although Kharitonov still carries every bit the punching power, it’s his timing
and speed that are worrisome. He appears
to have become a bloated version of his former self.
reasons, I point to “S.Kharitonov wins
in round 1” as an insurance bet against a straight play on Arlovski +105 at
bodog.com. If Sergei doesn’t dispose of Andrei by the first round, I see his
stamina and speed disadvantages catching up to him as the fight progresses.
My free MMA picks:
Andrei Arlovski +105 (bodog.com)
A.Arlovski wins by submission +1300 (5dimes.com)
Fight won't start round 3 -171