Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament conference call featuring Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Silva – notes & audio

Strikeforce held a media conference call today in anticipation of the first round of their heavyweight tournament, which begins on Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. and airs LIVE on Showtime.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, along with first round tournament participants Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, were on today’s call and fielded questions from the media. ( participated in the conference call along with several other media outlets.

My personal question for Fedor was: “Antonio Silva said that Fabricio Werdum had shown the blueprint on how to beat you and said that your main weakness was on the ground. How would your respond to that?

I also asked him, “Do you think more of your opponents will now be trying to submit you now with an armbar or triangle?

You can hear my questions and Fedor’s answers at the 48:08 mark.


Scott Coker

  • Tickets went on sale Tuesday. It was the largest pre-sale of any Fedor fight to date.
  • Tournament will consist of three, five-minute rounds.
  • There will be four judges. The fourth will decide the winner in case of a draw.
  • The winner of the final match will be deemed the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion and will get a title shot.
  • Overeem’s title will not be on the line during the tournament.
  • Overeem will be shooting a “Road to the Heavyweight Grand Prix” video much like “The Reem” series.
  • The quarterfinals will take place in February and most likely April and possibly late June-July for the semifinals.
  • Bobby Lashley is not involved in the tournament because Coker heard he was going to be doing some pro wrestling.
  • The finals and possibly other rounds could be on Pay-Per-View.

Fedor Emelianenko

  • Nothing has changed with me. I train as I did before and have tried to correct the mistake I made.
  • I still have my same beliefs, nothing has really changed for me.
  • I feel very good to be participating in the tournament. I’m very proud to be representing my country in the tournament. I’m going to train hard and what happens after that is up to God.
  • I’m ready and prepared to step into the cage with Fabricio anytime and it’s very much something I would like to do.
  • I’m very happy to meet with anyone. Antonio is very serious and dangerous opponent. We’ve talked and he’s always been very cordial and nice. He’s qualified and I don’t think about if I want to fight anyone else.
  • This tournament is just as good if not better than the PRIDE tournament.
  • Many people have tried to size me up and say I have some weaknesses in my game and if Antonio believes the ground game is my main weakness then let him try it.
  • Sambo is very unique in that it is so well-rounded and I believe the best discipline to prepare someone for MMA.
  • I never believed I was the best fighter in the world.
  • I don’t make any predictions of who will come out on top on the other side of the bracket.
  • I will work very hard not to disappoint those who believe in me.

Antonio Silva

  • I am very happy to fight Fedor. I still think Fedor is the number one heavyweight in the world. To be a legend you must beat the legend and I want to prove to everybody I am ready.
  • Fedor is the best heavyweight in the world and the top of the food chain. It’s my dream and I’m going to fulfill my dreams. I’m going to beat a legend and be a legend.
  • I think Fedor is a complete fighter and very well-rounded. Werdum showed to the world the road to beat Fedor. His main weakness is on the ground.
  • I know I can beat him. It’s the right time and God give me the right fight.
  • I’m going to try to use my size and weight as an advantage.
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