Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva expected more from Alistair Overeem on SaturdayPosted on June 19, 2011, 05:56 PM by Joey Santosus
Four months after the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix kicked-off with its first set of quarterfinal bouts, February's winners, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Sergei Kharitonov, finally know who they will meet in the semifinal round.
Last night's Overeem vs. Werdum event from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas featured division Champion Alistair Overeem going head to head with Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett taking on Brett Rogers, with each fighter looking to take another step towards the finals.
In the co-main event, Rogers found himself muscled to the mat, where the fight would remain for the duration of the bout. Unable to free himself from beneath Barnett's heavy hips, "The Grim" was eventually given no choice but to tap out as he found his air supply cut off via arm-triangle choke in the second-round.
As dominate as "War Master" (the fighter formerly known as "The Babyfaced Assasin") may have appeared in his return stateside, however, if was the headlining bout that raised more than a few eyebrows.
Just moments into the opening-round, the gameplan of each fighter became painfully clear. After several unsuccessful attempts at baiting Overeem into his guard, Werdum eventually resorted to pleading with the champ to test his jiu-jitsu on the mat. Unwilling, "The Reem" was forced to wait for a referee stand-up, with Werdum sluggishly lifting himself back to his feet time after time. In the end, all three judges scored the match-up for Overeem, bringing the lackluster game of strategy to its conclusion.
In the time since, the "smart" approach taken by each fighter in last night's main event has already resulted in some negative backlash from those who had hoped to see a more competitive affair. Among them was Overeem's semifinal opponent, Antonio Silva. Speaking at the event's post-fight press conference, "Bigfoot" shared his thoughts on the bout (via HitTheRopes.com):
"I told you before, if I beat Fedor, I would win this tournament."
"I promised my fans, I promised my family, and I'm going to win this tournament."
"I actually feel Overeem respected Werdum a lot, and he didn't do as much as he could but I expected more and I didn't see too much."
"I respect Overeem, but I'm going to train hard. I'm going to train for three rounds, hard. I know I can knock out this guy. I can fight standup, fight on the ground – believe me."
While no official date or venue has been set, the semifinal round is expected to take place this Fall and will feature Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, as well as Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov. The two fighters who emerge victorious from their respective bout will then meet in a final showdown to crown the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.