Remember the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix? Yes, that eight man tournament, which had a multitude of hype behind it and some of the best heavyweights in MMA competing. Remember over four months ago when Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva kicked off the Grand Prix with two great quarterfinal matches, and then disappeared?
Back from its 126 day hiatus, having lost much of the hype surrounding it, the grand Prix will finally complete its quarterfinal round at this Saturday’s Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum event. Live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the complete 10 bout card will be televised on both HDNet (undercard) and Showtime (main card).
Headlined by arguably the most anticipated bout of the Grand Prix quarterfinal round as the Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (34-11, 1nc) will look to avenge his 2006 loss to Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1). The winner will move on to the semifinals and face Antonio “Big Foot” Silva, who defeated the legendary Fedor Emelianenko last February.
The co-main event and second quarterfinal Grand Prix bout of the night features the Strikeforce debut of Josh Barnett against the one time top prospect, Brett Rogers. Barnett will be fighting for the first in the starts since failing a drug test prior to his scheduled bout with Fedor, which hastened Affliction’s departure from promoting. It should be noted that according to sources, Barnett did pass his prefight drug test. Rogers’ and his feel good story hit a rough patch of late, losing his last two fight upon taking a massive step up in competition.
The rest of the main card will feature tow more heavyweight bouts plus a lightweight bout to determine who is next in line for Gilbert Melendez and his lightweight title. Said lightweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and K.J. Noons should be a very entertaining and hard fought stand up fight. The prize for the winner will be a date with Melendez who is running out on opponents within the Strikeforce ranks.
265 lbs.: Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum – Alistair Overeem
265 lbs.: Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers – Josh Barnett
265 lbs.: Daniel Cormier vs. Jeff Monson – Daniel Cormier
265 lbs.: Chad Griggs vs. Valentijn Overeem – Chad Griggs
155 lbs.: Jorge Masvidal vs. K.J. Noons – K.J. Noons
155 lbs.: Gesias Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox – Gesias Cavalcante
155 lbs.: Magno Almeida vs. Conor Heun – Magno Almeida
170 lbs.: Nah-Shun Burrell vs. Joe Ray – Nah-Shun Burrell
170 lbs.: Mike Bronzoulis vs. Todd Moore – Todd Moore
170 lbs.: Brian Melancon vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg – Brian Melancon