Strikeforce officially announced today that top heavyweight contender and former EliteXC champion Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (14-2) will face Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem’s older brother, Valentijn “The Python” Overeem, in one of the featured bouts on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis live on Showtime.
The important heavyweight matchup rounds out the televised portion of a stacked fight card that features MMA superstar Dan Henderson (25-8) facing former Strikeforce light heavyweight world champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral (36-8), and Paul “Semtex” Daley (25-9-2) meeting power puncher Scott “Hands Of Steel” Smith (17-7, 1 NC) in a battle of explosive welterweights (170 pounds).
Silva has won seven of his last eight fights, including a decisive, lopsided decision over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski in his most recent outing last May 15.
Silva’s lone loss since December 2006 came when he was narrowly outpointed by fellow Brazilian, and Fedor conqueror Fabricio Werdum, on Nov.7, 2009. After an early onslaught that included decking Werdum and having him in serious trouble, Werdum rallied to eke out a decision by the scores of 29-28 three times.
“I want to fight and I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me,” Silva said. “My goal is to be the best and fight for a world title.’’
Overeem (28-23) has won his last two fights in a combined time of 47 seconds. The 6-foot-3, 34-year-old Dutch Destroyer scored a 40-second KO (knee) over Catalin Zmarandescu last May 21. In his outing before last, the previous April 17, a head kick finished off Tengiz Tedoradze seven seconds after the opening bell.
Overeem has several notable victories, including a 0:56, first-round submission over all-time great Randy “The Natural” Couture and a 2:19, first-round submission over Sobral. Overeem has only gone the distance twice is a 53-fight career.
A member of Team Golden Glory like his brother, Overeem is a four-time winner in PRIDE Fighting Championship competition. He’ll be making his debut for Strikeforce after signing with the promotion in June.