It was announced earlier this week that, in addition to having his contract extended, Fedor Emelianenko would be participating in Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight tournament; with his first fight coming against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.
“Big Foot” spoke with FightersOnly.com recently about taking on the MMA legend and admitted that he has his work cut out for him considering “The Last Emperor” is coming off of what most consider to be his first legitimate professional loss.
“We always wish to face the best and what I can imagine is a very tough fight because he won’t want a second loss and I want to establish myself among the top 10, so it’ll be a very difficult battle for both of us,” Silva said.
Emelianenko lost to Brazilian submission ace Fabricio Werdum over the summer, succumbing to an expertly applied triangle/armbar combination in the first round. Though Silva, who defeated both Andrei Arlovski and Mike Kyle in 2010, believes that Werdum exposed a chink in Emelianenko’s armor, he knows that he cannot go into a fight with Emelianenko simply expecting a submission.
“Werdum showed a hole in Fedor’s game but I have got to do well standing and on the mat,” he asserted. “I’ll look to sharpen my stand-up game that was deficient in my past fight and will continue my grappling and ground and pound workouts.”
Silva and Emelianenko are expected to face off this February 12th at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Their fight, along with a match up between Andrei Arlovski and Sergei Kharitonov, will mark the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.