Wednesday, March 9, 2011

STRIKEFORCE NEWS: With tournament delayed, "Bigfoot" Silva wants to fight again before semifinals

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Strikeforce's decision to move the Heavyweight World Grand Prix's remaining quarterfinal bouts back to June won't come without complications, and one of those is the status of the fighters who have already won their quarterfinal bouts.

Both Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Sergei Kharitonov plan on taking fights outside of the organization before their semifinal bouts in the tournament, which could potentially set up more problems for the tournament as Strikeforce hopes to finish it before the year is out.

Kharitonov revealed his plans to fight even before the next set of quarterfinal bouts was pushed back to June 18 from April 9, and now "Bigfoot's" manager Alex Davis revealed to Josh Gross at ESPN that the seven month wait is too long for Silva and they'll be attempting to find a fight outside of the tournament.

"We can see Strikeforce's point at delaying the other side of the bracket, so they can promote, but it leaves 'Junior' without a fight until at least Sept., which is a long wait," Davis said. "For us it sucks. I gotta keep him in action. What I'll try to see if they'll let him fight in Japan. He's in the tournament so it wouldn't make any sense to have him fight in Strikeforce. We can't just wait this long."

Penick's Analysis: This just opens a whole other set of problems for Strikeforce. These guys want to stay active and it's in their best interest to stay active physically and financially, so if they can get fights outside of Strikeforce and this Grand Prix then they should be allowed to take those. But if they lose outside of the tournament then what happens next? If they get hurt in a fight outside of the organization how does Strikeforce handle that? It's also going to mean they face a lower level of competition in their next fight instead of immediately moving on to the next level of the tournament. Delaying the fights was a major misstep, and they've now left themselves with more issues that they'll need to contend with going forward.


Jesse Forbes Xavier Foupa Pokam Hermes Franca Rich Franklin Ian Freeman

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